PMK’s decision to go it alone in local body elections surprises AIADMK
The Pattali Makkal Katchi’s (PMK) decision to go it alone in the elections to rural local bodies in nine districts seems to have surprised the AIADMK, which had hoped to go to the polls along with the former and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A key functionary of the AIADMK, who hails from a northern district, says that even though the PMK has acquired a reputation for changing its electoral allies frequently, he is not able to fathom the logic behind its latest move. “After all, it was Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who as Chief Minister in February, fulfilled the long-standing demand of PMK founder S. Ramadoss for special reservation of 10.5% for Vanniyars within the quota of the Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities.”
Another leader from the northern region claims that his party has been making preparations to face the elections regardless of the nature of the alliance. Asked whether the party will make any effort to reach out to the PMK, K.P. Munusamy, deputy coordinator, replied that it is for the party leadership to decide.
Stitched on the eve of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK-PMK alliance ensured the return of the PMK’s youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss to the Rajya Sabha. In July 2019, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha on the basis of support of the AIADMK, which was the then ruling party. Earlier, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss could not retain his seat in the Lok Sabha as he lost in Dharmapuri. In the 2019 rural local bodies’ elections, the PMK, as a constituent of the AIADMK-led alliance, bagged 16 district panchayat wards and 224 panchayat union wards.
Not on the same page
In the recently concluded month-long session of the Assembly, there were occasions when the AIADMK and the PMK were not on the same page.
The PMK and the BJP supported the presentation of the first agriculture budget, whereas the AIADMK did not offer any comment. However, on issues such as the probe into the Kodanad heist-cum-murder case and the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test, the two parties took the same stand. In fact, on the Kodanad issue, the AIADMK, PMK and the BJP had all walked out of the House.