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Lok sabha seat deal wins PMK bypoll support for AIADMK
By sealing the alliance with the PMK for the upcoming Parliamentary elections the AIADMK had ensured that the five years tenure of the state government would not be disturbed as majority of 21 vacant assembly seats fall in the northern part of the state, where the PMK holds a considerable vote share.
The PMK has a larger vote presence in the northern districts depending largely on the votes of the Vanniyar community. Consistency of the party in getting votes in the northern parts of the state has made PMK a major player in the state politics.
According to the PMK sources, the party is consistent in polling 25 to 30 per cent of the votes in the northern parts of the state and though there was no MLA from the party in 2016 state Assembly elections the difference between the votes obtained by winners and runners is lesser than the number of votes obtained by the PMK in most constituencies.
Sources also said that in nine out of 21 vacant constituencies PMK has a significant vote share which has the ability to decide the winner in the constituency. For instance, in 2016, Assembly election the PMK came third in most of the nine constituencies and even second in some constituencies overcoming the DMK-Congress alliance.
In constituencies such as Pappireddipatti, PMK bagged 61,521 votes and came second, only next to the AIADMK. Similarly, in Sholingur PMK obtained 50,827 votes and bagged 24.08 per cent of votes. In constituencies like Poonamallee and Perambur, the number of votes obtained by the PMK was higher than the difference between the AIADMK and the DMK candidates.
The presence of the PMK can make a huge difference in any of the alliances, be it the DMK or the AIADMK, and so both the major Dravidian major parties desperately wanted it into their fold. The AIADMK was able to successfully bring the PMK into the alliance, said PMK sources.
AIADMK sources said the presence of the PMK will ensure that the party will win majority of the 21 vacant seats if the EC decides to conduct bypolls along with the Parliamentary elections or immediately after the Lok Sabha polls.
If the AIADMK manages to win more than 10 seats in the bypolls its run till 2021 will be guaranteed, even if Congress comes to power at the Centre and so the alliance with the PMK becomes a necessary, said the AIADMK sources.
Priority for people than party principle: Ramadoss
PMK leader S Ramadoss on Tuesday justified his alliance with the AIADMK as he was once a staunch attacker of Dravidian parties, including the ruling AIADMK government.
Ramadoss, in a statement, said, “For the benefit of the state and for implementing the policies for the welfare of the people, the AIADMK had agreed to work closely with the PMK and so I believe that the alliance will bring benefit for the people of the state.”
The decision of Ramadoss to align with the AIADMK was a surprise to many in the political circles as he was a staunch opponent of Dravidian parties. In 2011, Ramadoss announced that he will never align with any of the Dravidian parties, which was seconded by his son and MP Anbumani Ramadoss.
However, Ramadoss has justified the formation of alliance by saying that if the MPs from PMK are in the Parliament they will voice for the welfare of the state and will bring several developmental schemes for the welfare of the state.
“When Anbumani was the Union Health Minister from 2004 to 2009 he implemented several welfare schemes for the state, including allotting Rs 150 crore for AIIMS like multi-speciality hospital near Madurai and if the funds were utilised then, the hospital would have been functioning for nine years,” said Ramadoss. He also recalled the contribution of other PMK MPs in sectors like Railways in the state.
Even though the AIADMK is not free from criticism, PMK had submitted 10 demands and the AIADMK had agreed to work on the demands along with the PMK.
He further said that the PMK is staunch in maintaining its core principles and will not compromise its principles but when compared to the principles of the party welfare of the state is important and so PMK agreed to align with the AIADMK.
The ‘Ten Commandments’ of PMK for alliance
- Announce Cauvery Delta as protected farming zone
- To prevent Karnataka from constructing Mekedatu dam across Cauvery river
- To implement 20 irrigation schemes and to interlink Godavari and Cauvery
- Caste census
- Release of seven Rajiv convicts
- Liquor prohibition in phased manner
- To shutdown sand quarries in phased manner
- To implement family pension scheme for government employees
- To write off farm loans
- To exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET