Springing a surprise, Vijayakanth-led DMDK on Wednesday struck an alliance with the four-party People's Welfare Front for the May 16 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu with the actor-turned-politician being declared as the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance.
As per the agreement reached between these parties, DMDK will contest 124 seats and the remaining 110 will be shared by PWF constituents—MDMK, CPM, CPI and VCK.
The breakthrough came after Vijayakanth, who recently declared that his party would go it alone in the polls, held talks with leaders of PWF, led by MDMK's Vaiko.
The seat-sharing agreement signed by Vijayakanth, Vaiko, G Ramakrishnan (CPM), R Mutharasan (CPI) and Thol Thirumavalavan (VCK) was released to the media.
The agreement also said Vijayakanth would be the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance.
The move is considered a setback for DMK which had hoped to rope in all key anti-AIADMK forces under its leadership and made sustained efforts to bring in Vijayakanth.
Vijayakanth, whose party is believed to have a committed vote bank, was also wooed by BJP.
The saffron party on its part had tried to build on the gains it had made in 2014 Lok Sabha polls when the NDA won two seats by sewing up a rainbow alliance comprising DMDK, PMK, MDMK and four other smaller parties.
BJP, which has firmed up support of smaller parties like AISMK, may now try to rope in PMK. Tamil Nadu is set to witness a multi-cornered contest among the fronts led by AIADMK, DMK, DMDK-PWF, BJP and PMK.