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Updated: January 12, 2013 09:56 IST

Dalit leader walks out of PMK, quits politics

Special Correspondent
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E Ponnusamy
E Ponnusamy

Former Pattali Makkal Katchi general secretary and former Union Minister of State, E. Ponnusamy, announced on Friday that he was quitting politics, as he could not agree with the leadership’s stand on social issues such as the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and inter-caste marriages.

“I cannot continue in the party when I don’t agree with its stand on these issues. I explained my position at a party forum platform and the leadership gave a clarification. But, I respect my friendship with Dr. Ramadoss and others and decided to quit politics,” he told reporters here.

At a time when the PMK is campaigning against inter-caste marriages and making a demand for amendments to the Act to ensure that it is not “misused”, Mr. Ponnusamy’s decision makes a further dent on the image of the party, once considered a bridge between intermediate communities and Dalits.

PMK founder S. Ramadoss, keen on bringing together the Vanniyars and Dalits, had always appointed a Dalit as the party’s general secretary. When the PMK was offered a berth in the Union Cabinet in 1998, he made Dalit Ezhilmalai Minister of State for Health. However, differences of opinion led to Mr. Ezhilmalai leaving the party.

Mr. Ponnusamy, twice elected from Chidambaram Lok Sabha Constituency, replaced Mr. Ezhilmalai both in the party and the Union Cabinet. The party did not nominate any Dalit to the Cabinet in 2004.


Ramdoss defends his right to hold meetingsJanuary 20, 2013

If India wants to emerge as an economic power, all the parties based on caste or religion
must be banned. Those who whip up the regional,caste and communal feelings must be
severely punished. Reservations should be gradually discontinued. We need strong laws and
strong leaders to implement progressive ideas.

from:  K.sivasubramanian
Posted on: Jan 14, 2013 at 00:53 IST

When will the constitution be changed to ban all parties based on castes. PMK talks of
Vanniars, Many parties based on Muslim community takes cover under minorities group.
Even BJP talks of Hindus and Yediyurappa talks about his caste.

Another important amendment must be made to forcibly dissolve all parties that has
contested and not obtained a minimum of 10 percent of the votes. Over the next 20 years or
so india will have only 2 or 3 parties this way. New parties can be formed any time but will be
dissolved if they cannot get at least 10 percent votes within 5 years of its formation.

from:  Dev
Posted on: Jan 12, 2013 at 03:04 IST
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