Special Correspondent

“Not interested in contesting on symbols of our senior partners”

Party president in touch with DMK

Not averse to aligning with AIADMK

CHENNAI: Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, the political offshoot of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), ruled out entering into any political alliance if it is allotted a single seat in the Lok Sabha polls.

TMMK president M.H.Jawahirullah, who is also the coordinator of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, said he was against tokenism, normally practised by senior partners when it came to allotting seats for Muslim political parties.

“We are also not interested in contesting in the symbols of our senior partners, as done by a few Muslim political parties in the past. We have an identity in Tamil Nadu politics,” Prof Jawahirullah told The Hindu.

Though he agreed that his was a fledgling political organisation, launched on February 7, he said the party had the backing of the TMMK, working among the Muslims for the last 13 years.

Prof Jawahirullah said he was in touch with the DMK leadership, but believed that seat-sharing talks would begin only next week.

Undertaking sought

He made it clear that his party would not hesitate to switch camps if the DMK expected it to settle for a single seat. “We may not be averse to the idea of aligning with the AIADMK, provided the party leadership gives an undertaking that it would not go to the BJP camp after the elections,” he said.

Prof Jawahirullah said his party would enter the fray from the Lok Sabha constituencies such as Vellore, Ramanathapuram, Mayiladuthurai, Central Chennai, Tiruchi and Tenkasi, where the party had a strong presence.

“We also have before us the option of forming an alternative front along with political parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party,” he said.

Ahamed meets Karunanidhi

Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Indian Union Muslim League leader E.Ahamed and his party MP Khader Mohideen called on Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence on Saturday. The meeting was described as a courtesy call.

Mr.Ahamed briefed the Chief Minister about issues in national politics that had seized the attention of the Muslim League.

Mr.Ahamed and party leaders also met Union Minister A.Raja and State Ministers Arcot N.Veeraswami and M.K.Stalin. Addressing the executive committee of the party’s Tamil Nadu unit here later, Mr.Ahamed stressed the need for the party joining hands with those who would help strengthen the secular fabric of the country.

It was not looking at short-term gains and would work towards combating communal forces and strengthening secular structures.