Differences between AIADMK and its long time ally MDMK reached a flash point today with the Vaiko-led outfit deciding to boycott April 13 Assembly polls accusing the senior partner of taking an "arrogant" stand after its demand for 21 seats was not conceded.
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa virtually extended an olive branch to her estranged ally, writing a letter to Vaiko, saying his party's decision had "saddened" her.
MDMK complained of "consistent ill-treatment" by and "arrogant stand" of AIADMK, and said it will not contest the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
A resolution passed at the meeting of MDMK district secretaries here said, "The arrogant attitude of AIADMK to its long-term ally and a meagre offer of eight seats has hurt the sentiments of the party...We don't want to sell our self-respect for the sake of a few seats and have decided that we will not contest the polls."
Shortly after the MDMK's decision, Jayalalithaa wrote a letter describing Vaiko as a "seasoned politician who is aware of the political situation".
Her party's inability to allot 21 seats as demanded by MDMK was conveyed to it by the party's election panel, comprising O Panneerselvam and KA Sengottaiyan.
Jayalalithaa, who has invested a lot of prestige in the elections, acknowledged that it was MDMK's right to take a stand on an issue (regarding boycott of elections), but assured "sister's love and respect" for Vaiko.
MDMK said AIADMK's open invitation in 2006 to join its alliance was approved only after a majority of the party supported it.
The MDMK resolution said the party had stood by its senior ally when the latter had decided to field its own candidate for the 2009 Tirumangalam bypolls, seen as a test of DMK strongman MK Alagiri's organisational skill versus AIADMK.
MDMK legislator Veera Elevarasan's death had necessitated the bypolls and the party had wanted its candidate to take on DMK.
It had also toed AIADMK line with regard to boycotting bypolls to five Assembly constituencies, two of them due to defection by MDMK MLAs to DMK.