CHENNAI: People’s rejection of the PMK in the last four Assembly elections has made the party to reorient its election strategy without compromising upon its ideology or principles and align with the AIADMK, PMK leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss has said.
Justifying the alliance, the Dharmapuri MP who had been Union health minister in the UPA I and whose Pattali Makkal Katchi party representing the influential Vanniyar community now aligned with the BJP-led NDA, said it was a collective decision of the PMK to align with the AIADMK. “If we gain power we can implement all the welfare schemes we have in mind for the State of Tamil Nadu,” he told reporters here on Monday.
Facing a voley of questions from the media, Dr. Anbumani who showed signs of irritation when reporters repeatedly sought to know why the PMK which had even brought out a book on corruption involving the AIADMK Ministers and had petitioned the Governor for appropriate action, settled for an electoral pact with the AIADMK, replied, the party had authorised its founder Dr. S. Ramadoss to decide on the alliance.
“It was a collective decision to align with the AIADMK…we have not won a single MLA in all the four Assembly elections since 2001 and hence we had to rework our election strategy...People have accepted this alliance. PMK cadres have accepted this alliance. AIADMK cadres have accepted this alliance. I don’t care about anyone else,” he thundered.
The PMK is influential in the northern and western belts of Tamil Nadu and has a significant support base consisting of the Vanniyar community. The party has been allotted seven Lok Sabha seats and one Rajya Sabha seat in the seat-sharing pact with the AIADMK for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, announced on February 19 after talks between the party leaders were held at a star hotel here.
Later in the evening the AIADMK announced its alliance with the BJP which would contest from five seats.
Alliance with AIADMK-BJP was decided in order to safeguard interests of Tamil Nadu, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss said. To questions regarding the alliance with the AIADMK, which went against the PMK's earlier stance, he replied, the decision was taken in consultation with the party rank and file.
Also the current situation in Tamil Nadu is different, in the absence of late Chief Ministers J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi and hence the interests of the State need to be protected.
The Dharmapuri MP also mentioned about the 10-point demand that his party had put forth to the AIADMK and these include among others getting Tamil Nadu exempted from Neet for medical entrance, release of 7 convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case, total prohibition besides opposing Karnataka's attempts to build a reservoir at Mekedatu across the Cauvery river.