CPI(M) not averse to expansion of AIADMK front

CHENNAI, JULY 20. The State CPI(M) is not rushing to take any rigid position in view of recent developments in the NDA camp in Tamil Nadu amid indications that the PMK may turn out to be the `dark horse' in the run-up to the next year's Assembly polls.

At the same time, the Marxists are not averse to the idea of the AIADMK supremo, Ms. Jayalalitha, `expanding' the secular front in the State in response to moves set afoot in the DMK front to rope in a couple of parties into the NDA.

This was the impression gleaned from a cross-section of party members at the CPI(M)'s State committee meeting on its second day here which deliberated on the political situation in the State in the presence of the politburo member, Mr. Prakash Karat.

As the CPI(M) sources put it, their basic political line and strategy in Tamil Nadu will continue to be based on fighting the DMK-BJP combine. The CPI(M), therefore, has no rethinking whatsoever on being part of the AIADMK-TMC front.

Though a few of them feel that the PMK's possible switch-over to the AIADMK front looks far-fetched as the PMK founder, Dr. S. Ramadoss, has said that he will continue to be a part of the NDA, a section of the CPI(M)'s State unit are not unduly perturbed over the prospect of PMK changing horses mid- stream.

``Should the AIADMK decide to take more parties in the front, why should we object?'' posed a committee member even while underscoring that the PMK's apparent dithering was not on the CPI(M)'s radar screen now.

Dr. Ramadoss' latest `casteist consolidation' is seen by the CPI(M) as a response to an `erosion' in the PMK leader's base in north Tamil Nadu. At least, some within the CPI(M) feel that it would be better if both the PMK and the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI), led by Mr. R. Thirumavalavan, `came together' should the PMK decide to change its main ally.

The Left parties would not like to lose their support base among the Dalits. However, as a CPI(M) member put it, they have not dubbed the PMK as an `untouchable'. The Left's nod to a PMK- AIADMK tie-up in strengthening their front to take on the DMK-BJP front would also hinge on the PMK putting the Sri Lankan Tamils issue in the backburner.

``We are still discussing the Tamil Nadu situation,'' was all that the CPI(M) politburo member, Mr.Prakash Karat was willing to say.