Rattled by the prospect of a potentially strong combination coming unstuck, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa has swung into action to get her allies back in a spirit of give and take.
All through Friday and Thursday she was on the phone and sent her emissaries to Left and DMDK leaders, who had threatened to float a front and go their own way, to hold their horses with a message that such a move would only help the DMK and allies to return to power.
She had thrown enough hint she was willing to consider a more ‘respectable’ accommodation of her longtime ally, the MDMK of Vaiko, by upping the offer to 15 from a paltry eight.
The Tamil Nadu assembly has 234 seats. The DMDK, led by actor Vijayakant, has got 41 seats to contest in.
Hectic parleys among the alliance partners and between the allies and AIADMK leaders continued for the better part of the day and by late evening the Left leaders and DMDK representatives reached Jayalalithaa’s residence for seat-identification talks.
At the time of going to press, representatives of the CPI(M) and DMDK were in discussion with Jayalalithaa and her senior leaders, trying to hammer out a workable solution to the crisis brought upon by the unilateral announcement of the 160-candidate list by the AIADMK supremo on Wednesday night.
She had fielded candidates in a majority of the constituencies now held by the Left parties and also in some of those that Vijayakant wanted.
The AIADMK had said it decided to contest 160 seats, leaving the rest of the 74 to its 10 allies.
“It is a complex process but talks are going on” was all that a Left leader said on anonymity, but hoped a compromise may yet be worked out. Vijayakanth too said he would not take a decision in haste.