Chennai: Although a multi-cornered contest stares Tamil Nadu for Assembly polls, the fight essentially is between ruling AIADMK and the rest, with DMK continuing to be the prime contender and DMDK-PWF trying aggressively to emerge as an alternative, as a heated campaign has begun.
Allotting only seven seats to allies, AIADMK is contesting in 227 constituencies in the May 16 polls.
Though DMK is expected to contest 176 constituencies, today's launch of "Makkal DMDK," a breakaway group of DMDK steered by V C Chandrakumar, has led to speculation that it might get a few seats.
Chandrakumar, however, declined to spell out his outfit's stand categorically. "We will talk with DMK leadership if we are invited. I don't want to comment anything about contesting polls now," he told PTI.
He said the outfit was intended to be a "bridge" between the people and disillusioned DMDK functionaries to facilitate a "change of regime and put in place a democratic government." Makkal DMDK functionaries were expelled from the party for asking the leadership to align with DMK.
DMK has allotted 58 seats to its allies - Congress (41), IUML (5), MMK (5), smaller parties, including Puthiya Tamizhagam (7).
While Jayalalithaa began her campaign yesterday here, DMK treasurer MK Stalin has embarked on 'Thinnai Pracharam' (verandah campaign) by going door-to-door, distributing pamphlets and meeting voters in person.
AIADMK has also begun campaigning door-to-door and is holding public meetings as well.
Stalin started his 'Thinnai Pracharam' in RK Nagar, Jayalalithaa's constituency, and he has also covered Thousand Lights, and Saidapet in the city. He has asked his party women's wing functionaries to visit every household and seek votes.
AIADMK's ally AISMK chief Sarathkumar too began his campaign in Tiruchendur.
DMDK chief Vijayakanth is all set to hit the campaign trail tomorrow from Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur district.
DMDK-People's Welfare Front (PWF) mega poll rally is scheduled to be held later this evening at Mamandur in Kancheepuram District.
Identification of seats and a first list of candidates of the parties are expected to be unveiled at the meet.