“We wanted to maintain our individuality and so we have decided to contest under a separate symbol. Contesting in a separate symbol will not affect the win of DMK alliance,” MDMK leader Vaiko, told DT Next.
As far as Tamil Nadu politics is concerned, party symbols hold key as DMK’s ‘Rising Sun’ and AIADMK’s ‘Two Leaves’ are the most significant symbols due to which both the Dravidian parties have been winning all the elections in the last 50 years. Apart from the two major Dravidian parties, the minor parties in alliance have been contesting in their own symbols till 2016.
However, the Assembly election of 2016 witnessed a major change as the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa forced all the allies to contest only under ‘Two Leaves’ symbol and that was reported as one of the important reasons for AIADMK retaining power for the first time since the death of former chief minister M G Ramachandran.
The DMK too followed the strategy in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and got landslide victory. However, for this Assembly elections, all the alliance parties, including Tamil Manila Congress in AIADMK had announced that they will contest in separate symbols which according to political analysts will cause a dent to the winning chances of both the DMK and AIADMK as it might take time for political parties to familiarise the new symbol among the voters.
“Around 10 per cent of the votes might be affected for both DMK and AIADMK alliance due to parties contesting in separate symbols. Parties involved in identity politics like VCK might be affected more, but parties like MDMK and TMC will not be affected much,” said political analyst Raveendran Duraisamy.
He also said that both DMK and AIADMK leadership will ask minor parties to contest either in ‘Rising Sun’ or ‘Two Leaves’ symbols, but if the minor parties insist on contesting in separate symbols, both the Dravidian parties might not force them.