Amid criticism of its alliance with the ruling AIADMK by various quarters, PMK Monday said the pact for the coming Lok Sabha elections was forged with an intention to ‘retrieve’ and uphold Tamil Nadu’s rights on various issues.
Pattali Makkal Katchi Youth Wing leader also asserted the party would support any anti-graft action against state Ministers if corruption charges against them were proved.”Our intention is to retrieve and uphold the rights of Tamil Nadu and its people,” he told a press conference here.
On the PMK’s stand now on corruption charges against the AIADMK over which it had earlier petitioned the state Governor seeking action, Anbumani Ramadoss insisted his party remained firm on its stated position.”Regarding the petition we had submitted to the Governor, action should be taken if the charges are proved….I will be the first person to seek the resignation (ofMinisters concerned),” he said.
The AIADMK had last Tuesday struck poll-pacts with BJPand PMK, allotting five and seven seats to them respectively out of the total 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. PMK has come under sharp attack from DMK and several other opposition political parties and a section of the civil society for aligning with the AIADMK after being a vocal critic of the AIADMK on issues, including corruption.
Defending the tie-up, Ramadoss, Lok Sabha member from Dharmapuri, pointed to the ten-point charter of demands PMK had presented to the AIADMK prior to confirming the alliance. The demands included ensuring release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and implementation of prohibition, he said adding Chief Minister K Palaniswami, also the AIADMK Joint Coordinator, has agreed to ‘consider’ most of them.
The AIADMK was on the same page on the release of Murugan, Santhan, AG Perarivalan, Robert Payas, Ravichandran, S Jayakumar and Nalini, all life convicts, he said. The state cabinet had last September recommended to Governor Banwarilal Purohit for their premature release, saying they were in prison for about 27 years. Ramadoss said the alliance decision was also taken factoring in the “majority view” in his party. His father and PMK founder leader S Ramadoss had held discussions with a large number of workers, functionaries and office-bearers, he added.
Admitting that the party had in the past decided not to align with either DMK or AIADMK, the PMK youth wing leader said the situation has, however, changed, following the demise of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and former chief minister M Karunanidhi of DMK. “We stuck to that (position of not aligning with the two Dravidian parties) for eight years (since 2011). Today the situation is different. Today our rights have to be retrieved,” he said.
He also pointed to the prevailing national political scene and said leaders like Mamata Banerjee (TMC), Sharad Pawar (NCP) and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu were now with Congress though they had been very critical of it in the past. Once arch-rivals, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party had come together in Uttar Pradesh, he said adding even Shiv Sena, which had been attacking BJP, has confirmed its alliance with the saffron party in Maharashtra.
Hitting back at DMK president M K Stalin for his criticism of PMK, Anbumani Ramadoss said he was perhaps afraid of the AIADMK-led alliance’s victory prospects. To a question, he said even the DMK had approached the PMK for a possible alliance. Claiming that the AIADMK-led alliance which also has the BJP, will sweep the coming polls, Anbumani Ramadoss said it will be easier for ensuring Tamil Nadu’s welfare by being part of the NDA if it forms the next government at the centre.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines