Chennai: For the Assembly polls due in April-May in Tamil Nadu, major political parties in the state are firming up or in the process of striking alliances.

The ruling DMK already had two rounds of talks with its key ally and UPA coalition leader Congress, and has already netted the PMK, Indian Union Muslim League and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi into its basket.
The opposition AIADMK had also started talks with DMDK, floated by actor Vijayakant, MDMK and the Left parties besides allotting seats to minor parties like Puthiya Tamizhagam, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Republican Party of India and All India Forward Block.

The AIADMK's efforts for a rainbow alliance had succeeded with the DMDK joining it.

On the other hand, the BJP is waging a lone battle for the second time as neither of the two major Dravidian parties had entertained it.

The alliances had undergone a sea change from the one formed during the 2006 Assembly polls. While the DMK-Congress alliance and the AIADMK-MDMK tie up remained intact, the Left parties have changed sides from DMK camp to AIADMK side since the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

The PMK, known for shifting its loyalties, had done it once again by shifting from AIADMK camp to that of the DMK-Congress combine.

Initially there were reports about hitches in seat-sharing talks between Congress and DMK, but political observers feel that Congress high command would finally come to terms with the Dravidian party.

Congress, which had been insisting on power-sharing, more number of seats, a common minimum programme among other things had reportedly been hurt by DMK's "unilateral" allocation of 31 seats to the PMK without taking it into

The Congress, which had been demanding over 80 seats, had been reportedly offered by the DMK 53 seats.

The VCK had demanded 15 seats but was likely to settle for 11 seats reportedly offered by the DMK.

The DMDK's decision to go along with the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK had sealed the prospects of Congress-DMDK led Third Front in the state.

On the AIADMK front, the allocation of seats to key allies like MDMK and Left parties depended on the number of seats to be given to DMDK.

Speculation is rife that the fledgling party will be getting around 45 seats.

Minor players like parties floated by actor Sarath Kumar and some caste-based parties like Kongu Velalar Munntera Kazhagam, which had spoiled the chances of DMK combine in eastern Tamil Nadu during Lok Sabha polls, were yet to finalise their poll strategy.