DMDK has finally done a deal with AIADMK.
All these *K parties are likely to confuse the non-Tamil Indian. But the Tamils thrive on this. The tentative grouping on the AIADMK front is now as follows (as told by a friend):
DMDK (Vijayakanth): 41
MDMK (Vai.Ko): 18
MMK (Muslim Party): 3
PT (Krishnaswamy, Dalit party): 2
AISMK (Actor Sarath Kumar): 2
FB (Actor Karthik): 1
They add up to 233. So one seat is still unclear. Deals have been clinched with only DMDK, PT, MMK and FB. Though others have not yet signed the deal, this looks most likely.
Compared to this, DMK has not yet worked out the deal with Congress. DMK cadre are angry with Congress in the wake of the 2G imbroglio. There is a feeling amidst DMK folks that Congress is putting undue pressure on DMK - pressure beyond the normal electoral negotiation such as action on A. Raja and Kanimozhi on the 2G scandal, Shahid Balwa's loan and/or investment in Kalaingar TV, selective leaks from Radia tapes and so on.
Such a marriage made at gun point will not work. They will actively work towards defeating Congress in those constituencies.
On the other hand, the AIADMK-DMDK combine will be out on the streets starting today to canvass heavily. How far will Marans and their TV power come in handy to help DMK is questionable. The patch up worked out between Marans and Karunanidhi family seems too fragile. Stalin vs Azhagiri is another major factor afflicting DMK.
Considering all this, I think AIADMK-DMDK combine will walk away with an easy win.