Amid a realistic stocktaking of the reasons for its debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, the DMK on Monday made a strong pitch for the proportional representation (PR) system in election of members to both Parliament and the Assemblies, taking political circles by surprise. The DMK putting up a strong case for the PR system came through a resolution passed at the party’s high-level policy committee meeting here to analyse the reasons for one of its worst electoral defeats. The meeting was chaired by party president M. Karunanidhi.

Seeing itself as a victim of the present first-past-the-post system, in which a winnable alliance and the number of seats won in Parliament and the Assemblies decide the status and recognition of parties, the party drawing a blank came as a shocker. The reason: despite having polled over 97 lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the DMK and its smaller allies could not win a single seat.

Situating its demand for the PR system in this backdrop, the DMK argued that barring the erstwhile British colonies all other countries were following this system. In this context, the party recalled its founder C.N. Annadurai urging for PR in the Indian context.

“Now even many national parties are also advocating the idea. There is a need for taking forward the debate on the issue to enrich our democracy. The Centre and the Election Commission of India should consider the proposal seriously,” the DMK resolution said.

In fact, even after the 2011 Assembly elections, the DMK was denied the main Opposition party status in the House. The DMDK led by actor Vijayakant, got that status winning 29 seats as an AIADMK ally, though DMDK’s vote share was much less than that of the DMK.

Seeking ‘independent and unbiased reports’ on the reasons for the poll debacle from its district secretaries, Lok Sabha poll candidates and party leaders in charge of the campaign to be submitted to Mr. Karunanidhi by June 15, another panel to suggest ways to strengthen and simplify its district units and rapping the AIADMK for alleged cash distribution to voters and the EC’s failure to curb it, were among the other resolutions adopted at the DMK meet.

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