Lok Sabha polls | PMK to form alliance, S. Ramadoss to decide on allies

The party, at its special general body meeting, also passed resolutions demanding the conducting of a caste census in T.N., and for the Centre to release funds to the State for rain relief

Updated - February 01, 2024 07:07 pm IST

Published - February 01, 2024 03:41 pm IST - CHENNAI

PMK founder S. Ramadoss (right) addressing the party’s special general body meeting in Chennai on Thursday, February 1, 2024

PMK founder S. Ramadoss (right) addressing the party’s special general body meeting in Chennai on Thursday, February 1, 2024 | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), in its special general body meeting on Thursday, February 1, 2024, resolved to contest the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha in alliance with other parties. The party adopted a resolution, giving powers to decide on alliance partners, to its founder S. Ramadoss.

Addressing the meeting earlier, Dr. Ramadoss said that though the party was capable of winning at least seven Lok Sabha seats if it were to contest alone, this was not an apt time to avoid alliances. Stating that the party had been gearing up for the elections over the last year, he urged functionaries and cadres to ensure victory for the party in at least 10 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Highlighting the need for the PMK to come to power, party president Anbumani Ramadoss said Tamil Nadu had benefited greatly when the party was part of the Union government earlier. He pointed out various measures, including the introduction of 108 ambulance services, the ban on smoking in public, and various health and railway infrastructure projects for Tamil Nadu that were implemented when he was Union Health Minister and R. Velu was Union Minister of State for Railways between 2004 and 2009.

With the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.) led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu intact, with room for new parties appearing to not exist, the PMK also indicated that it was not looking at cozying up to the DMK. Dr. Anbumani criticised Chief Minister M.K. Stalin for not commenting on the demand for a caste census that had been made by party founder Dr. Ramadoss during a meeting the two had, about a month ago.

The resolutions passed at the meeting did not clearly indicate whether the party was inclined towards forming an alliance with the AIADMK or the BJP. The resolutions included demands to the Union government to release funds for Tamil Nadu’s flood relief without any delay and grant assent to the Bill passed by Tamil Nadu to exempt the State from the National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test (NEET).

The resolution related to the Lok Sabha elections expressed concern over the worrying trend of successive Union governments usurping the powers of the State ever since five items were moved from the State List to the Concurrent List in the Constitution during the Emergency.

PMK spokesperson K. Balu, who spoke at the meeting, strongly criticised Mr. Stalin for delaying measures to implement the 10.5 % internal reservation for the Vanniyar community.

Former PMK MP R. Senthil, who spoke at the meeting, said while some were demanding a strong government at the Centre, such governments had always spelt doom for States in the past. He said a coalition government, of which the PMK was a part, should be formed instead.

Other resolutions passed at the meeting included a demand for the State government to conduct a caste census, a demand to release the report of the Rohini Commission on sub-categorisation of OBCs and implement its recommendations, and the implementation of total prohibition in the State.

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