The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has announced a State conference on February 15 and 16 in Tiruchi, to spell out its strategy for the Lok Sabha polls.

“The conference will prepare the party for the Lok Sabha polls and galvanise partymen for the election work. An alliance will be in place before the conference, and leaders of friendly parties will participate in the conference,” said DMK deputy general secretary Durai Murgan.

The DMK has now the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) as allies. The Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) and the Puthiya Tamizhagam supported Mr. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi’s candidature to the Rajya Sabha, but it is not yet clear whether these two parties will formally join the DMK alliance.

DMK’s organising secretary T.K.S. Elangovan said the State conference had provided a platform for DMK partners, including Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko. As per the party programme it should hold a State conference once in every five years. However, it could not stick to the schedule after it formed the government in 1967. The testing times during emergency and the political changes in the State prevented the party from organising such conferences. In fact, after 1975, it held a conference only in 1990.

“There is a qualitative difference between the conferences held before 1967 and the subsequent ones. All parties, barring the CPI, attended the conference in Virugambakkam in 1966-67. The common enemy at that time was the Congress. The conference can only serve the purpose of preparing the partymen for elections,” said K. Thirunavukarasu, historian of the Dravidian movement.

The Left parties had been with the DMK in a few earlier polls, and in Tamil Nadu, the combination had proved very effective. But this time, the Left parties have decided against going with the DMK, though the DMK spurned both the BJP and the Congress. “I cannot understand why the Left is not ready for an alliance with the DMK. In electoral politics, no party can claim to be cut above the rest. Any day, the DMK is a better ally for the Left parties,” Mr. Thirunavukarasu said.

On Saturday, the DMK organised the first-in-a-series of public meetings in the city.

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