Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM has tied up with TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls next month. In November, the AIMIM party won five of the 14 seats it had contested in Bihar and Owaisi was tagged as ‘vote-cutter’ by the opposition front that said the secular votes had been split because of the AIMIM and this had benefited the BJP-led coalition.
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. In 2016, the AIMIM had fielded its state unit chief, Vakeel Ahmed, from Vaniyambadi and the AIADMK candidate won. This time, AIMIM's Tamil Nadu unit had given Owaisi a list of 20 seats where it said it could win. The ruling AIADMK has allied with the BJP and PMK, while the opposition DMK has tied up with the Congress, Left and other parties.
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 AIADMK. In 2017, 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. 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 Dhinakaran eventually enabling Sasikala's return to the top of the AIADMK. The BJP has reportedly assessed that AMMK can have an impact in more than 40 constituencies. The AIMIM, scouting for partners, was believed to have also sought out the DMK, but reportedly did not get the response it expected.
The 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly will go to the polls on April 6. The results will be declared on May 2.