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Moves afoot to edge PMK out of UPA as well


Chennai : After its ouster from the ruling DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu, moves are afoot to edge PMK out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the centre as well, sources said here Thursday.

“Not withstanding the DMK’s attempts to oust us from the UPA, our central minister Anbumoni Ramadoss met Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi to explain our strong commitment to support the UPA in all its endeavours as its active member,” PMK sources close to party chief S. Ramadoss told IANS.

DMK leaders denied these charges.

“Decisions regarding the PMK’s future in the UPA are the prerogatives of its collective national leadership. We have made our stand vis-à-vis the PMK clear. But, to say that moves have been initiated against it by us at the centre are far from true,” a DMK leader said.

Interestingly, Union Shipping and Surface Transport Minister T.R. Baalu also had a meeting with Gandhi in New Delhi, the source added.

Significantly, Congress legislature party leader D. Sudarsanam guardedly said his party was watching the developments closely.

“Our party will examine as to whether the allegations of unbearable, improper insults have been heaped on a veteran national politician of the stature of Tamil Nadu chief minister (Karunanidhi) are true. If the charges are true, they are highly condemnable. Our high command’s findings will decide PMK’s future,” Sudarsanam said.

Meanwhile, one of the mainstays of the opposition AIADMK-front, MDMK extended an olive branch to the PMK and VCK.

“Ramadoss and VCK share our concerns on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils on a more relevantly sensitive basis than the ruling DMK. So it is but natural that we will eventually come together,” a senior MDMK leader said immediately after the conclusion of its executive committee meeting here.

Independent observers felt though the development was politically significant, it was too early to make guesses in the eventual line-up during the ensuing parliamentary elections.

“The Congress leadership wants to bag all the 40 seats from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The PMK’s base amongst the Vanniyars is discernible in the northern Tamil Nadu in some 8 parliamentary constituencies including Puducherry. But, with the Communists – also part of the DPA – blowing hot and cold on the nuclear issue against the Congress, one can never clearly say anything now,” said political commentator Cho S. Ramaswamy.

The PMK’s executive that will meet Friday, however, will make no earth shattering decisions, Ramaswamy added.