It aspires to play crucial role in government formation at the Centre
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which has finalised tie-up with the Left parties for the Lok Sabha polls, will be, for the first time in over four decades of its existence, seeking a larger role in the national polity.
This message was loud and clear, both at the party’s general council in December and more recently in the speech of Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa in the Assembly on Monday.
In her reply to a debate on the Governor’s address in the House, the Chief Minister, speaking on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, had observed that after the Lok Sabha elections, her party would be in a position to shape policies at the Centre. More or less the same point, she made at the party general council in December. She had then said when the general council met next (December 2014), the party should be the guiding force for the nation. For over one and a half years, the party has been preparing itself to meet the polls, by holding consultative meetings in every Lok Sabha constituency.
Like in 2004, this time too, the party is expected to contest in 30 and odd Lok Sabha constituencies. Then, the AIADMK had fought the elections together with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), fielding its nominees in 33 constituencies and seeking votes for the sitting Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In 2009, when the party headed a coalition that included the Left, the Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, its concentration was more on highlighting “failures” of the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre and the then Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government in the State. But, now, the focus of its campaign will be entirely different and the party aspires to play a crucial role in the government formation at the Centre, even as Ms. Jayalalithaa has made it amply clear that it is now pointless for any party to enter into the question – who the next Prime Minister would be.
Echoing her point, G. Ramakrishnan, State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), feels that there is no need to view the Lok Sabha elections from the prism of presidential type of elections.
Referring to the 1967 elections in Tamil Nadu when polls to Lok Sabha and the State Assembly took place simultaneously, the CPI(M) leader points out that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder C.N. Annadurai did not contest for the Assembly polls but he chose to participate in the Lok Sabha elections. It was only after the results of the Assembly polls that Annadurai had decided to become Chief Minister. Mr. Ramakrishnan recalls that at the time of Lok Sabha polls in 2004, there was no talk of Manmohan Singh becoming Prime Minister. “Did he not become the PM eventually?” he asks.