Tamil Nadu may lose the distinction of having one of its citizens as India's president. But it may acquire its first vice president if Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has his way.
The chances of APJ Abdul Kalam, who hails from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, getting a second term in the Rashtrapati Bhavan have turned slender with no all-party consensus emerging on his candidature.
While the DMK and AIADMK are blaming each other for Kalam's impending exit from the presidential palace, the prospects of DMK leader K Anbazhagan as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate for vice president's post have brightened, according to political observers in Chennai.
It is known that it was as early as in May that Karunanidhi suggested the name of his Finance Minister Anbazhagan to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi when she and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were in Chennai.
"We will support you for president, support us for the post of vice president" -- appears to be the deal worked out between the DMK and Congress party.
The DMK has not favoured a second term for Kalam.
The DMK supported the candidature of Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja for the Rajya Sabha and is likely to get the Left's backing for its vice president's post.
Two names that were doing the rounds in May for the vice-president's office were that of 84-year-old Anbzhagan and Dravida Kazhagam (DK) leader K Veeramani.
Veeramani's name dropped out later though the DK leader on Thursday declared, "The DK cannot ever be separated from the DMK."
Anbazhagan, known as 'perasiriyar' or professor, was initially with the DK and then with DMK since its founding days. A staunch Karunanidhi loyalist, he is the senior most leader in the party and has been a cabinet minister four times, and is now the finance minister of Tamil Nadu.
On June 16, in a vitriolic attack on DMK, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalitha declared that her party would not support any candidate nominated by the Congress, man or woman, for the post of president.
Nor would the AIADMK support any DMK nominee for the post of vice president, she added.