Ahead of next year’s Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss has asked his party cadre to do a lot more groundwork following the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) model if they have to win at least 60 Assembly seats on their own.
Speaking at a virtual public meeting on Thursday, Ramadoss asked his party functionaries if the party is not able to win 25 good constituencies in the elections then what is the need for its existence. “We have faced nine parliamentary elections and six assembly elections till now. If we had increased our vote bank by 1 per cent in each of these elections, by now we would have 21 per cent vote share. If we had that per cent vote share – we would have gained enormous strength in the state. Other communities would have thought of giving us a chance; they would have had the option of choosing a bright candidate like Anbumani, and a political regime change would have happened,” Ramadoss said.
Ramadoss claimed that despite having an election manifesto unlike any other party in the country, PMK does not have a single party representative in the state Assembly because the party cadre didn’t do much hard work. “If you had done work similar to RSS, of explaining the party welfare schemes to the public in each and every corner of the state all these years, I can confidently say our party would be having a minimum of 60 elected MLAs in each election. Can you confidently say that you have done all the groundwork and we will win 60 constituencies now?” he asked.
Ramadoss further slammed the party’s social media team for not being active despite having so many followers. He said if he had been of their age, he would have a lot more work. Pointing out a few functionaries and units of the party, the PMK supremo said they should focus more on developing the party through their hard work rather than worrying about the party’s allies in the elections.
Earlier, PMK president G K Mani said the electoral alliance is different and Ramadoss would announce the chief ministerial candidate around the election time.
Mani’s comment comes at a time when PMK and AIADMK have been at each other’s throats after the latter refused to accept PMK’s demand of providing 20 per cent reservation for the Vanniyar community in government jobs and education. Following protests by the PMK cadre in some areas of the state, the AIADMK had formed a commission to examine and suggested methodologies to conduct a caste-based survey in the state.
Political observers feel PMK’s dilemma in alliance is not surprising as the party is known for jumping ships in each election. In 2018, the party accused AIADMK of corruption. PMK youth wing leader and MP Anbumani Ramdoss even presented a document to the Tamil Nadu governor, listing corruption charges against the ruling government. However, in the 2019 parliamentary elections, PMK joined hands with AIADMK again. This instability of the PMK caused a dent in their vote bank as well.
In the last assembly election, PMK was not part of any coalition and contested all 234 constituencies. They failed to win a single seat and lost deposit in majority constituencies. In the 2019 parliament election, PMK lost in all the seven constituencies they contested.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines