Chennai, September 15 (BPNS)
The opposition AIADMK and the BJP are trying to reach out to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) to remain in the NDA fold. This was after the PMK has on Tuesday announced that it would contest the ensuing rural local body poll elections on October 6 and October 9 alone.
PMK is the political arm of the powerful Vanniyar community and the previous AIADMK government had ordered 10.5% reservation for Vanniyar community from within the Most Backward Caste( MBC) fold, a long pending demand of the PMK and its founder leader, Dr. S. Ramadoss.
However after the DMK government came to power, it announced a Government Order for the 10.5% reservation for the Vanniyar community as well as a memorial for the 21 Vanniyars who were shot dead by the police during the regime of AIADMK leader M.G. Ramachandran on September 17, 1987.
Political observers were of the opinion that the DMK was trying to woo the Vanniyar community to get a stronghold in North Tamil Nadu where the community is strong. The announcement by the state president of the party G.K.Mani, MLA that the PMK would contest the rural local body polls alone was a shocker for the AIADMK, BJP combine, and hence the firefighting operation has commenced.
Sources in the BJP told IANS that senior leaders of the BJP from New Delhi have already communicated to the PMK youth wing leader Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss who was a minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee Government to stay back in the NDA fold in Tamil Nadu.
The AIADMK leaders, O.Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami have also communicated to the PMK leadership including Dr. S. Ramadoss regarding the continuation of the alliance.
The statement of the PMK spokesperson, S. Balu that the PMK was still with the NDA and that it had announced contesting the rural local body polls on its own was due to lack of time to enter into coalition discussions as the polls would be held in three weeks from now.
Manonmani. G, Professor of Political Science at a private college in Chennai and a close observer of Tamil Nadu politics while speaking to BPNS said, “PMK was testing the waters and the party now wants Anbumani Ramadoss to get a ministerial berth at the Centre and the announcement that they would contest the polls alone has brought both the AIADMK and the BJP at their feet. The statement of the party spokesman that the PMK has not severed its ties and that it was only for the rural local body polls that the party was contesting alone could be read along with this.”