PMK planning to make a mark in TN urban local body polls

by IANS |

Chennai, Jan 29 (IANS) The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), the political arm of the powerful Vanniyar community, which was part of the AIADMK-led coalition in the 2019 general elections and 2021 Assembly elections, has declared that it would contest alone in the 2022 February urban local body polls.

PMK Founder, S. Ramadoss has told his party cadres that getting a large chunk of seats in the urban local body polls would leverage the party to the centrestage of Tamil politics and that it can bargain with other parties from the position of strength.

The PMK had walked out of the AIADMK alliance in the 2021 October rural local body elections to nine districts of Tamil Nadu but could not make a mark as not a single PMK leader was elected to district panchayat even as it won some seats in the rural bodies, including gram panchayat.

The PMK is primarily a party that has its strength in northern Tamil Nadu which has maximum voters from the Vanniyar community. The party is trying to get maximum seats from this stronghold that could help it become a major player in the politics of Tamil Nadu.

Sources in the PMK told IANS that S. Ramadoss in his address to party leaders and functionaries told them that the party has to get more seats so that it can be in a position of bargain in the 2024 general elections as well as the 2026 Assembly elections.

The PMK walked out of the AIADMK alliance due to the fact that it does not want to play second fiddle to any one party in Tamil Nadu politics and wants to lead a coalition that can catapult the party to the centrestage or rather the party wants the Chief Minister's post in the long run.

R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think-tank based in Madurai, told IANS: "In politics, one can be ambitious but the ambition must be based on the inherent strength and weakness of a party. PMK cannot fill the void of AIADMK as it is not a pan-Tamil Nadu party and is confined to certain pockets of north Tamil Nadu and that, too, only among the Vanniyar community. The dream is far-fetched."

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