Some see it as a hint of an impending poll tie-up with BJP
AIADMK coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Sunday said his party was holding “secret” talks with national, regional and friendly parties for forging an electoral alliance for the Lok Sabha polls. Once the talks were finalised, the details would be announced, he said.
Talking to reporters at Tiruvanmiyur in Chennai, Mr. Panneerselvam said: “The AIADMK is in talks with parties with friendly ties, regional and national parties. They are ‘top secret’ talks and once a clear picture emerges, you will be the first to know.”
His admission that the AIADMK was holding talks with “national” parties among others was inferred by some sections as a possible exploration of electoral ties with the BJP since the Congress has allied with the rival DMK.
The Left parties, too, have friendly relationship with the DMK.
However, in Dindigul, AIADMK propaganda secretary and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai criticised the BJP-led NDA Central government, saying it had not done anything tangible for the people of Tamil Nadu or anything that was of interest to the people’s welfare here in the last five years.
Asked about party leaders expressing divergent views on electoral alliances, Mr. Panneerselvam said party functionaries could say anything they wanted, but once the party leadership decided on the alliance, they would fall in line and that has been the trend since the AIADMK’s formation in 1972.
Separately, senior AIADMK leader and Minister D. Jayakumar hinted at a larger alliance being formed and said it would not be the first time his party chose to face the Lok Sabha polls with alliance parties.
Asked why the party was contemplating forging alliances, since former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa chose to face the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 alone, Mr. Jayakumar said the party’s founder M.G. Ramachandran had gone it alone in the 1977 elections, but eventually faced the polls with allies in 1984.
“The decision to contest alone or with alliance parties is based on prevailing political situations,” he said.
“If parties accept our leadership and come to us, we will consult with everyone and if it was in the interest of Tamil Nadu, a decision on alliance will be taken at the right time by the party leadership,” Mr. Jayakumar added.
The applications invited from party men intending to contest in the Lok Sabha polls would be received from Monday and the party’s leadership will announce the candidates, he said.