The dmk-led alliance is a conglomerate of 12 parties (the 13th, mdmk, split with it on Friday amid acrimony over seats) and calls itself the "anti-corruption front"; the aiadmk has nine parties under its umbrella and describes itself as the "secular alliance." The problem is, neither enjoys much credibility among the masses.
For instance, in the dmk front, six seats have been allocated to the newly-floated Makkal Tamil Desam (mtd) headed by former aiadmk minister S. Kannappan, a prime accused in the "coal import cases" involving former CM J. Jayalalitha. The mtd's general secretary is M. Gopalakrishnan, former Indian Bank chairman who was arrested on corruption charges and has a case pending against him. Undermining the dmk's anti-corruption plank further are the Tehelka tapes that brushed the whole nda indirectly but, perhaps, decisively. Says a senior nda leader: "The only plus point for the dmk-led front is that there is no apparent anti-incumbency mood."