PMK In a Pickle

September 24, 2015, Chennai

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KarunanidhiKarunanidhi, the elder statesman that he is, has taken a politically clever decision.


He has not told ‘no’ to PMK; yet he has not said ‘yes’ either. Nearly two years after they parted ways, the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu has decided to revive its ties with the PMK, but refused to allot a seat to the party in the forthcoming Rajya Sabha polls.
Karunanidhi said the decision was taken on the basis of letters PMK chief S Ramadoss wrote to him. "Our intentions of re-admitting PMK into the alliance are well-founded," he said after a meeting of DMK's high-level committee. “PMK founder Ramadoss, had wanted the alliance to be revived," he said. The decision was taken in good intention. "I hope they (PMK) will accept it," he said.

The DMK's decision has to be viewed against the background of reports that DMDK might cast its lot with AIADMK, with which PMK had an alliance in the last Lok Sabha polls.

RamadossBut, the PMK may not be satisfied at all, with the DMK's decision as the Karunanidhi-led party refused to allot a Rajya Sabha seat to PMK now. The party would allocate one Rajya Sabha seat to the PMK in the biennial polls to be held after the assembly polls next year.
The tenure of Rajya Sabha MP and former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss ends next month and the PMK had sought DMK's support to get him re-elected. Now, the PMK could easily see through the game plan of the DMK. In fact according to sources close to the PMK, it had wanted not only a Rajya Sabha seat, but also ministership to the junior doctor. But, Karunanidhi wants to ensure PMK’s loyalty through its support to DMK in the Assembly elections and then take a Rajya Sabha seat that is offered.
"Let bygones be bygones. At least let the future be good," a resolution adopted at the DMK high-level committee meeting said. Will the PMK share this view? Especially since its immediate dreams are shattered.

DMK snapped its ties with PMK in June 2008, capping months of bitter relationship between the two parties. DMK took the decision after senior PMK leader J Guru made some critical comments against Karunanidhi. Now, one party has come forward to revive it, seemingly at the request of the other. But even in this there is a catch. PMK’s demands have not been met. In fact its main request has been turned down – namely a Rajya Sabha seat right now. It’s difficult for PMK to wriggle out of this situation. Truly, it is in a fix, or rather in a pickle!