Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam

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Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
தேசிய முற்போக்கு திராவிடக் கழகம்
Leader Vijayakanth
Founded 14 September 2005
Headquarters Koyambedu, Chennai
Ideology Secularism
Social Democracy
Populism
Political position Centre-Left
ECI Status State Party[1]
Alliance NDA (2014 – 2016)
Election symbol
Indian Election Symbol Nagara.svg[2]
Website
www.dmdkparty.com

Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) (Tamil: தேசிய முற்போக்கு திராவிடக் கழகம்; English: National Progressive Dravidian Federation) is a regional political party formed by Tamil film actor Vijayakanth in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, along the lines of the regional Dravidian political parties. He formally announced the party's formation on 14 September 2005 at Madurai. The party head office is in Koyambedu, Chennai.

DMDK poster in Thanjavur

This party contested in all 234 seats in the state elections in May 2006 with Vijayakanth contesting in Vridhachalam. The party polled almost 30 lakh votes (a total of about a 10% share). All the candidates of the DMDK, with the sole exception of Vijayakanth, lost the elections in 2006. In by-elections to Madurai Central assembly constituency, DMDK secured around 17,000 votes, which was 2,000 votes less than All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). DMDK was also able to secure a large number of seats in Local Body elections. Vijaykanth and his party contested in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls as an independent party in all 39 constituencies in the state, winning no seats. The party won 29 seats in the 2011 assembly election and became the official opposition party with Vijayakanth as the opposition leader.

Electoral performance[edit]

Year General Election Votes Polled Seats Won Seats Contested
2006 13th Assembly 27,64,223 1 234
2009 15th Lok Sabha 31,26,117 0 39
2011 14th Assembly 29,03,828 29 41
2014 16th Lok Sabha 0 14
2016 15th Assembly 0 104

2009 Lok Sabha Election[edit]

DMDK contested all 39 seats independently in Tamil Nadu in the 15th Lok Sabha election and lost all of them. The party, however, made strong inroads in the heartland of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK). The party polled 30.73 lakh votes of the total of 3.02 crore valid votes polled in the state representing roughly a vote share of 10.09%. This is higher than the 8.38% vote share polled by him during the 2006 assembly election. It polled more than one lakh votes in nine constituencies, more than 75,000 in 19 constituencies and more than 50,000 in 35 constituencies including Puducherry.

Though his party did not win any seat, it appears to have made the difference between winning and losing for several candidates by having a vote share larger than the margin of victory. Except S Austin in Kanyakumari and K Pandiarajan in Virudhunagar constituency, none of the other candidates had a standing of their own and observers believe the votes polled by him indicate the public support for his candidacy.[3]

2011 assembly election[edit]

DMDK had remained unaligned and contested all the previous elections independently until 2011 election. In an effort — claimed by the party — to defeat the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, it allied with Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam front in a decision made on 25 February 2011.[4] It won 29 of the 41 seats contested making it a second largest party in Tamil Nadu next only to its ally ADMK pushing DMK to third position. Thus, the party became the official opposition party with Vijayakanth becoming the opposition leader. The large victory also earned recognition and a permanent election symbol from the election commission .[5] On 21 February 2016 Vijayakanth lost leader of opposition post after 8 DMDK party MLA's resigned.[6]

2014 Lok Sabha Election[edit]

DMDK fought Lok Sabha Election through an alliance with BJP led NDA.[7] MDMK, PMK, KMDK and IJK led Social Democratic Alliance are the other allies of NDA in Tamil Nadu. In the NDA alliance, this party is the one with highest number of seats which are 14 in number. Despite of big hype, the party lost all 14 seats to AIADMK candidates. But this is the first time in 52 years that DMK alliance was pushed to third place by the number of seats and this election had given the confidence to most parties that future of Tamil Nadu lies in coalition government.

Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election, 2016[edit]

For the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election, 2016 ,the DMDK has decided to contest the polls along with the People's Welfare Front (PWA) – an alliance of four parties including CPI(M), CPI, Vaiko’s MDMK and Thol Thirumavalavan’s Dalit party VCK, as known as Captain Vijayakanth Alliance[8] The DMDK performed poorly in the election by not winning even a single constituency and losing deposit in majority of its places. DMDK also witnessed a vote swing of -5.8% from 2011 General elections.

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