Tamil party DMDK founder Captain Vijayakanth got his party’s nod on Saturday to take the call on whom to partner with for the state elections later this year, a decision that may tilt scales in what is currently an open contest.
Vijayakanth helped current chief minister and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa ride to power in 2011 before he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance for the 2014 polls.
While the NDA believes DMDK — Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam — is still a part of the alliance, Vijayakanth is yet to make a decision on whom to contest the elections with. His demands, sources say, hinge on an ambition that he be made the CM candidate.
The DMDK is being courted by a number of political outfits. DMK supremo M Karunanidhi had invited Vijayakanth to join a front led by his party last month, at a time when the newly-formed Peoples Welfare Front comprising Left and MDMK of Vaiko was wooing the film star politician.
Vijayakanth, fully secure in the knowledge of being the kingmaker, wants one step higher. He wants to be the king himself and is believed to have told PWF leaders that he would join the front if it made him the chief ministerial candidate.
What Vijayakanth brings to the table, in any alliance, is the 10% vote share that he has garnered ever since he entered politics in 2006. On his own, there are slim chances of winning even a few seats but he has the capacity to boost the chances of the alliance he joins.
Vijayakanth had joined hands with Jayalalithaa in a meeting at the AIADMK supremo’s Poes Gardens residence. That partnership decimated Karunanidhi’s party.
Within less than a year, the actor-turned-politician parted company with Jayalalithaa.