July 04 2020
‘Joined alliance because PMK was unsuccessful in past 4 polls’
27 February 2019

People appreciated us but didn’t give us seats, says Anbumani

Until recently one of the harshest critics of the AIADMK and the BJP, PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss was on Monday at pains to justify his poll pact with the two parties for the Lok Sabha election.

At a press conference in Chennai, he said he was not at all embarrassed about justifying the PMK’s alliance with the AIADMK and the BJP. “Definitely not. People have accepted this alliance. The AIADMK has accepted this alliance. The PMK has accepted this alliance. That’s all [that] counts,” he contended.

According to him, the change in the PMK’s stance that it will never align with Dravidian parties was mainly due to the party’s underwhelming performance in the last four elections in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016. “We contested and sought votes throughout Tamil Nadu, we worked very hard and we put forward a great election manifesto (in 2016). We were appreciated by the people but they did not give us any seats. Therefore, we have changed our strategy,” he said.

On graft charges

Asked if his party would now lay off the corruption allegations it had been levelling against top AIADMK Ministers, he said there will not be any change in its stance. “It is true that we gave a list of corruption charges to the Governor. Even today, our stand is that there should be an investigation and strong action should be taken against the corrupt,” said Mr. Anbumani.

“Let the CBI investigate, and if it brings out evidence of corruption [against the AIADMK Ministers], I will be the first person to ask them to step down,” he added.

He argued that parties which were opposed to one other had come together elsewhere in the country, citing the examples of the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, AAP-INC in New Delhi, NCP-Congress in Maharashtra, TDP-Congress in Andhra Pradesh and the DMK-Congress combine in Tamil Nadu.

“When we were in an alliance with the DMK during the 2004 Lok Sabha and 2006 Assembly elections, we fiercely criticised the DMK. Kalaignar (former CM Karunanidhi) used to say that ‘Thailam’ (balm) is coming from Thailapuram (Ramadoss’ hometown). We did it for Tamil Nadu’s well-being. We have criticised the BJP as well. We will not give up on Tamil Nadu’s interests. We were doing it from the outside so far, and now, we will be doing it as an alliance partner. It is easy,” he claimed.

Asked about the strong criticisms he had been making against the AIADMK until recently, he said, “I am not denying it. Is there a rule that those who criticise [one another] should not get together? In Tamil Nadu, [VCK leader] Thirumavalavan criticised the DMK and the Congress. Is there anything that [MDMK founder] Vaiko has not said about the DMK and the Congress? We have taken this decision keeping in mind the interests of Tamil Nadu.”

Cadres’ call

“All major parties approached us. This is common before elections. Ayya (S. Ramadoss) consulted PMK cadre and office-bearers. They insisted that we go in for an alliance with the AIADMK. [DMK president] Stalin is severely attacking us. Maybe he is doing this because we aren’t with his party. We will not criticise him in return,” he said.

Clarifying on the PMK’s stance on not contesting the bypolls, Dr. Ramadoss said, “We only said we will not contest. We have not said that we will not support anyone.”



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