Sunday, October 14, 2012

PMK to go it alone in Lok Sabha polls

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss.
Refuting allegations that reservation of a Rajya Sabha seat for him was always a prerequisite while the Pattali Makkal Katchi finalised electoral alliances, former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here on Friday that he was prepared to enter the fray in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

He also made it clear that the party would contest the polls alone, as switching of alliance between one Dravidian party and the other in 15 years had severely affected its credibility.

“We have realised it is a mistake, and it has led to our losing the confidence of people. So, we are going alone to win back their confidence. This will help us lead a front in the 2016 Assembly elections,” Dr. Anbumani told The Hindu.

Seeking to dispel the impression that the PMK always stressed on a Rajya Sabha seat for him before choosing its ally, Dr. Anbumani, who is the president of the party’s youth wing, said the suggestion was baseless.

“In the 2001 Assembly elections we were with the AIADMK, but quit the alliance even before elections to the Rajya Sabha were held. If we were keen on getting a seat we could have stayed back at the expense of our self-respect.”

Dr. Anbumani said that a Rajya Sabha seat had been promised to the PMK and not him.

“In 2009-10, the DMK leader refused to give us a seat. Even in seat-sharing arrangements for the 2011 Assembly polls, as per the agreement with the DMK, the PMK was offered a Rajya Sabha seat. If we had attached so much importance to that seat, we would have continued in the DMK alliance. But we left the alliance immediately after the Assembly polls.”

Asked why he had kept away from contesting elections, he said when the PMK was offered a Cabinet berth in 2004, he joined the Ministry. Later, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha and he was still an MP when the general elections were held in 2009. “I am ready to contest now if the party wants me to do it.”

Dr. Anbumani said that no party would dare to go it alone in elections in the present scenario and the PMK had taken a bold decision, as it wanted to project itself as an alternative to the DMK and the AIADMK.

“These two parties have damaged the socio-economic fabric of the State. People are disenchanted with them and there is a political vacuum in Tamil Nadu. The PMK will lead a front in the 2016 Assembly polls to fill that vacuum.”

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