OTHERS

Alliance without power-sharing a farce in democracy: TMC

CHENNAI, MAY 7. Though the AIADMK has categorically ruled out any power-sharing, its ally, the TMC, it appears, will push hard for a pre-election commitment for a coalition.

While the TMC leadership is yet to react to the AIADMK's stout `no' to a coalition arrangement, the party seniors strongly feel seat-sharing without power-sharing defies the `logic' of alliance politics.

``Alliance without sharing of power will be tantamount to a farce in Parliamentary democracy,'' says the TMC general secretary and MP, Mr. S. Peter Alphonse, pushing the party's case for a pre- election assurance from the AIADMK on power partnership.

Though the TMC has decided to go tango with the AIADMK in the next year's Assembly elections, the party feels that the alliance requires a credibility tag and a `unique selling point'. And it is the `coalition concept' that will raise the Opposition front's electoral scrips, says a key TMC functionary.

The `coalition package' will also provide a face- saving formula for the TMC, which, despite being a political by- product of an anti-AIADMK mood in 1996, is gearing up to fight the next elections as an AIADMK ally.

``We should be able to convince the voters that we will act as a safety valve of the Government. Unless we participate in the Government, we may not be seen as accountable to the people,''says a party senior.

The TMC appears to have realised that changing roles from a friendly Opposition to an aggressive Opposition mid-course will not cut much ice with the public. ``We (as Congressmen) fought the election in alliance with the AIADMK in 1991, promising a clean Government. And then started levelling allegations of corruption against the Government. Later in 1996, when the TMC was born, we fought the elections in alliance with the DMK, promising a corruption-free Government. What has happened now? The same story has repeated,'' argues a party MP.

While the party would maneouvre for share in power, as of now it is unlikely to make any loud noises over the coalition issue. The party feels `everything will crystallise on the eve of elections and the AIADMK can be convinced'.

The TMC also does not see the AIADMK leadership ruling out coalition as a smack on its face. On the contrary, the TMC seniors think, it was a strategic declaration by Ms. Jayalalitha to send out a message that her party `is strong enough to come back to power on its own'.