DMK president MK Stalin and his team would have their task cut out in the coming months, unlike last year’s Lok Sabha election. Allies who were content last year are showing signs of resistance already. Even as rumours about the DMK planning to persuade a few smaller allies to contest under its ‘Rising Sun’ symbol were doing the rounds, the so-called smaller players have already started showing signs of resistance.
While Vaiko’s MDMK, which gladly contested in the lone Erode Lok Sabha seat last year in DMK’s symbol, has already asserted that it would prefer its own symbol this time, ‘national’ allies like CPM and IUML have categorically denounced the ideal of contesting in DMK’s symbol. Though it was not surprising to see bigger parties like CPM and IUML decry the proposal, DMK fears that the statements of the party leaders would embolden the smaller players to also push for their own symbol.
Another headache for Anna Arivalayam would be the proposed union of all Muslim parties by Tamil Nadu Jama’athul Ulama Sabai, which could likely prompt MH Jawahirullah’s MMK and incumbent MLA Ansari’s MJK to resist the ‘Rising Sun’ symbol.
Eswaran’s KMDK, which won in DMK symbol in Namakkal Lok Sabha seat in 2019, has thus far been the only ally of DMK to not raise the symbol issue.
VCK leader Thol Tirumavalavan, who had declined DMK’s offer and won the Chidambaram parliament seat last year with his own symbol and who was first to raise the issue, seems to be in no mood to entertain the DMK this time either.
A DMK senior unwilling to be named said, “Our leaders do not want a repeat of 2016. It cost us power last time. Our leadership would either push for a compromise. It looks like we will drive a hard bargain this time. Anyhow it is too early to discuss numbers and symbols now.”