118 views 3 mins 0 Comment

Political shift in Tamil Nadu as PMK to contest alone in rural local body polls

Chennai, September 15( BPNS)

The political arm of the powerful Vanniyar community, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) which was a coalition partner of the AIADMK has decided to contest the ensuing rural local body polls to the nine districts alone. The party-state president G.K. Mani in a virtual meeting announced that the party has decided to contest the polls alone.

The rural local body elections are scheduled for October 6 and October 9.

PMK had contested the 2019 loksabha elections and the 2021 assembly elections as part of the AIADMK coalition and IANS had reported that the DMK has been trying to woo the PMK or rather to bring it out of the AIADMK fold.

The 10.5% reservation for Vanniyar community within the Most Backward Caste(MBCs) was announced by the AIADMK government of Edappadi K Palaniswami and it helped the front get a good number of seats in Northern Tamil Nadu where the Vanniyar community has a major say.  However, the DMK government issued the Government Order (G.O) on the same with reservations in educational institutions including professional courses as well as government jobs.

The DMK has also recently announced the construction of Vanniyar memorial as a tribute to the 21 Vanniyar people who were killed in a police shoot-out on September 17, 1987, when AIADMK founder leader M.G. Ramachandran was the Chief Minister of the state. Stalin has recently announced the construction of a memorial to uphold the names of the martyrs who were killed in Police firing.

PMK was also sulking after the party leader and former Union minister, Anbumani Ramadoss was not given a cabinet berth in the recent cabinet expansion of the Modi government in July. While it was the AIADMK that had given a Rajya Sabha seat to Anbumani Ramadoss, the PMK wanted the AIADMK leadership to push for his candidature as a Union minister which did not happen.

The decision of the PMK to contest the rural body elections on its own will definitely lead to a dent in the AIADMK front’s support base and that DMK is expecting to garner more seats in an area where the party is not in a good wicket.

R. Padmanabhan of Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai while speaking to BPNS said,” The PMK is a very powerful entity in North Tamil Nadu and the party contesting alone in the rural body polls is indeed a shocker for the AIADMK. However, the PMK trying to toe a different line was evident for the past few months and the statements of its founder leader Dr. S. Ramadoss was an indication that it may jump fence.”