CPI-M, AIADMK announce tie-up for Lok Sabha polls (Roundup)

December 5th, 2008 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyChennai, Dec 5 (IANS) The AIADMK and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday announced a tie-up for general elections early next year, formally ending long-standing ties between the Marxists and Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK.The decision was announced by CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and AIADMK chief and former chief minister J. Jayalalitha at the latter’s residence here after a 45-minute meeting.

“It has been decided that the AIADMK and the CPI-M will enter into an electoral alliance to face the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls,” Jayalalitha told reporters. “I am very happy with the outcome of the talks.”

Karat said the decision was taken by his party after the politburo approved the Tamil Nadu unit’s decision to dump the ruling DMK and go with the AIADMK.

“It has been decided that our party will work in cooperation with the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. It is for that that I have come and met Jayalalitha and discussed with her how our parties can work together and forge a common understanding,” he said.

Karat added that there had been “a very good understanding” and the two parties would meet again to discuss the modalities of fighting the general elections jointly in Tamil Nadu.

The CPI-M, he added, had already finalised similar tie-ups with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). “Discussions are underway with various other parties.”

Jayalalitha added that her party too was talking to “like-minded parties and the outcome will be announced soon”.

Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan had also met Jayalalitha a few days ago.

With the Left and Vaiko’s MDMK already with it, the AIADMK front has begun gathering steam in Tamil Nadu, a sprawling state that elects 39 members to the Lok Sabha. Neighbouring Pondicherry elects one MP.

According to the results of an opinion poll released by Loyola College, a premier private educational institution, the AIADMK has a little over 38 percent of the popular vote in the state on its own strength.

The coming together of the CPI-M and AIADMK has made the contest during the ensuing parliamentary elections interesting, political commentator Cho S. Ramaswamy told IANS.

“The Left will add at least five percent more to the AIADMK front. The DMK is said to have around 25 percent vote-share. The bulk of the balance is divided between DMDK (headed by actor-turned-politician Vijaykanth), PMK and the Congress,” he said.

Ramaswamy said the move was a blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had been trying to move closer to the AIADMK.

The CPI-M had been an old ally of the DMK but ditched it when the latter supported the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Left and the AIADMK then came together but parted ways in 2003. The CPI-M and the CPI allied with the DMK again in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

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