Chennai: Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM has tied up with TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) for the Tamil Nadu polls next month.
As part of its seat share with the AMMK for the April 6 election, the AIMIM will contest three of Tamil Nadu’s 234 seats — Vaniyambadi, Krishnagiri and Sankarapuram.
TTV Dhinakaran, a lone player since his aunt VK Sasikala decided to step away from politics ahead of the election, is hoping to at least dent the votes of the ruling AIADMK.
Mr Dhinakaran floated his own outfit after Sasikala was removed as AIADMK chief after her four-year jail sentence in a corruption case. Sasikala’s protege E Palaniswami or EPS, then patched up with the rebel faction led by O Panneerselvam or OPS and Mr Dhinakaran was sidelined.
In 2017, Mr Dhinakaran jolted the AIADMK by winning the RK Nagar assembly constituency of their charismatic leader and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who died in office in 2016.
Mr Dhinakaran failed to live up to the promise in the 2019 national election but his vote share was 8.46%, which should worry the AIADMK more than any other party. His candidates placed third but their votes cut into those of the AIADMK.
The BJP had reportedly tried to get the AMMK on board to prevent any split in the AIADMK votes. But EPS was reportedly dead against it. According to reports, the Chief Minister was worried about a merger with Mr Dhinakaran enabling Sasikala’s return to the top of the AIADMK.
The BJP is said to believe that AMMK can have an impact in more than 40 constituencies.
The AIMIM, scouting for partners, was initially inclined towards the DMK-Congress alliance but reportedly did not get the response it expected, perhaps because of the other Muslim parties in the alliance like the Indian Union Muslim League.
In 2016, the AIMIM had fielded its state unit chief Vakeel Ahmed from this seat and had managed nearly six per cent of the vote share with over 10,000 votes. The AIADMK candidate won.
This time, AIMIM’s Tamil Nadu unit had given Asaduddin Owaisi a list of 20 seats that it wanted to contest.
The results of the Tamil Nadu election will be declared on May 2.