Amma stirs poll pot,asks Cong to dump DMK,join her

Stirring the pot of coalition politics,AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa today invoked the “daughterly” affection she had for late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi...

Written by Gopu Mohan | Chennai | Published: February 20, 2009 1:55 am

Stirring the pot of coalition politics,AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa today invoked the “daughterly” affection she had for late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her relations with Rajiv Gandhi to urge the Congress to dump the DMK and join her party-led alliance for the Lok Sabha polls.

“The public,angry at the DMK,is waiting for an opportunity to teach them a lesson,” she said,comparing the ruling party in Tamil Nadu to one caught in the “quicksand” of public ire.

In New Delhi,the Congress said its alliance with DMK was “quite strong” and it had no plan to tie up with AIADMK “as of today”. Congress media department chief M Veerappa Moily told reporters: “As of today,we have not decided (on any) front with anybody including Jayalalithaa. Our alliance with DMK is quite strong… She (Jayalalithaa) appears to have proposed on her own. I don’t think there is anything reciprocal.”

CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said: “We are going by the understanding arrived at between our party general secretary and Jayalalithaa on an electoral understanding.” The Left parties and AIADMK stitched up a partnership recently,the anti-Congress plank being the only foundation.

Speaking at a mass-marriage ceremony organised by AIADMK cadres to celebrate her birthday,Jayalalithaa demanded the dismissal of the DMK government for its “Himalayan blunders”.

“No one can save the DMK anymore. DMK’s chapter is over. But if the Congress thinks it can lift and rescue DMK from the quicksand it has fallen,it will also get caught and sink.”

She said only those parties who were in the alliance led by her would be successful in the elections: “Those who will come with us will gain and those who will not be with us will lose.”

Pointing to good relations in the past between the AIADMK and Congress,she said Indira Gandhi was like a mother to her and she also shared a good relationship with Rajiv Gandhi. This was one of the reasons for her suggestion to the party,she said,adding that the Congress,by snapping ties with the DMK,could “remedy the sin” of having aligned with that party.

Until now,Jayalalithaa was a vocal critic of the Congress under Sonia Gandhi,often raising the issue of her foreign origin. Nevertheless,her comments have shaken alliance dynamics as any new arrangement could impact both state and national politics.

Falling way short of a simple majority in a House of 234,the Karunanidhi government is completely dependent on Congress support to remain in power. At the Centre,the DMK-led alliance has supported the UPA led by the Congress.

Jayalalithaa’s overtures to the Congress have also put the comrades in a fix. “I don’t know why she made such a comment. We can react to it only after finding out more,” CPI Tamil Nadu secretary D Pandian told The Indian Express. Pandian was key to the partnership between the Left and AIADMK,over-riding the inherent differences between the two.

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry send 40 members to the Lok Sabha,a number that can be crucial in case of a tight verdict. In the 2004 elections,the AIADMK-BJP alliance was routed by the DMK-led alliance that had both the Congress and the comrades.

•CONGRESS

“There is no such proposal with the Congress party. She (Jayalalithaa) appears to have proposed on her own,I don’t think there is anything reciprocal (to her proposal),” senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily said.

•LEFT

“We are going by the understanding arrived at between our party general secretary and Jayalalithaa on electoral understanding. “ CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yehcury said without referring to Jaya’s statement.

•BJP

“Politics is a sea of opportunities,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad on why Jayalalithaa had ignored the BJP-led NDA. “Congress and DMK cannot have a future together if the ruling party wants an alliance with Jayalalithaa now,” he added.

(With ENS & PTI)

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