The idea of a mega alliance for the 2024 Lok Sabha election, mooted by the AIADMK’s interim general secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, a fortnight ago, has evoked curiosity in political circles, but it does not seem to have secured takers among the constituents of the DMK-led coalition.
Though Mr. Palaniswami did not touch upon the composition of the mega alliance, his colleague and AIADMK organisation secretary D. Jayakumar, in a chat with The Hindu last week, claimed that parties now part of the DMK-led coalition might cross over to the front headed by the AIADMK at the time of the election.
But this talk has been dismissed by the Congress, one of the key allies of the ruling party. “There is no possibility of my party or any other constituent of the coalition joining the AIADMK as secularism forms the bedrock of our front,” A. Gopanna, vice-president of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, says. Differences of opinion among the constituents on one or two issues, he said, would not disturb the cohesiveness of the coalition. Thol Thirumavalavan, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader, has gone on record, contending that after the 2021 Assembly election, the front, headed by the AIADMK, has ceased to exist.
Besides, the popular political discourse has been whether the “mega alliance” would encompass the AMMK headed by former R.K. Nagar MLA T.T.V. Dhinakaran and groups led by the AIADMK’s deposed coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, and former interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala. At one stage, it seemed Mr. Dhinakaran was receptive to the idea of working together with the AIADMK; but, after Mr. Palaniswami’s categorical rejection of accommodating the AMMK, he said neither his party nor himself was keen on aligning with Mr. Palaniswami.
Asked to elaborate on the idea of “mega alliance”, a senior leader of the AIADMK says there is enough time for drawing the contours of the alliance. “There is no need to hurry. We will take our own time to spell out our position,” the leader explains.
A couple of other leaders in the party say their organisation is very much conscious that it has to present a winning combination before the electorate. “We will work in this direction,” they say, asked whether the AIADMK would face the election without having the BJP in its front.
R. Subash, a political analyst, says that in the event of Mr. Palaniswami not willing to take on board Mr. Panneerselvam, Mr. Dhinakaran and Ms. Sasikala, there is a possibility of the emergence of a third front, which will be similar to what the State witnessed in 2014 when the BJP, the PMK, the DMDK and the MDMK came together for the Lok Sabha poll. This time, such a third front will be headed by the BJP, Mr. Subash adds.
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