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TN Poll Alliances Still Not Firmed Up

The poll alliances in Tamil Nadu seem far from settled. Asked about the sealing of seat-sharing arrangements in the I.N.D.I.A bloc, all that the senior DMK minister Duraimurugan would say was that things were moving smoothly. But there are tugs and pulls, with at least one major party in AIADMK trying to change the scenario by offering more seats (12) to the Congress than the DMK (6 or 7) is ready to offer. Also, voices are being heard in I.N.D.I.A bloc from the likes of the AAP that the bloc may be better off without the DMK as the party’s stand on Sanatana Dharma has spoilt the Hindu vote bank for the alliance. But given MK Stalin’s loyalty to members of the Congress first family, it is unlikely that the matter of a few seats would see the alliance come unhinged. Stalin might convince the DMK to allot nine seats to the Congress to keep the front intact. His son has also been told to tone down the anti-Hindu rhetoric till the elections and not to sully the pitch to the electorate, which already has reason to ditch the DMK because of the corruption clouds that are gathering over a few major figures. The Muslim also have reasons to feel cut up as they see the DNK as not having done enough for them, including in the non-release of prisoners.