Vaiko foresees mid-term polls to LS

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Chennai, Jan 2: MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today foresaw mid-term poll to the Lok Sabha this year and said its repercussions would be felt in Tamil Nadu politics, hinting a snap poll in the Tamil Nadu Assembly also. Asserting that 2008 would be a politically significant year, he told reporters here that the Congress dealt a severe blow in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.

Coupled with this and with the base of the Left parties getting weakened, especially in West Bengal over the Nandigram issue, there was every possibility of Left withdrawing support to the UPA Government at the Centre, leading to snap polls this year. ''There will be change of guard at the Centre after the snap polls and it will have its repercussions in Tamil Nadu,''he added.

''Considering the ongoing internal wrangles within the DMK-led DPA in Tamil Nadu, a situation will arise wherein the ruling DMK will not be able to continue in power and complete its full term,'' he claimed, dropping enough hints of simultaneous polls to the state.

On whether the MDMK would ally with the BJP, if its senior partner AIADMK chose to do so, Mr Vaiko said the question of alliance would be decided by AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa. Referring to senior BJP Leader L K Advani's remark that the BJP was on a come-back trail in the country and the AIADMK's reported move to forge electoral tie-up with it, Mr Vaiko said it was premature to talk of the alliance now.'' ''Why one should jump to that level (talk of alliance) now. I don't want to answer hypothetical questions,'' he added.

The BJP's victory in Gujarat was a verdict to the good governance of Mr Narendra Modi and the recent poll outcome would have its impact at the national level.

Accusing Chief Minister M Karunanidhi of betraying the interests of people of the state on Mullaiperiyar, Palar and Cauvery issues with neighbouring states, Mr Vaiko alleged that the state had failed to protect the interests of the state.

He alleged that there were unannounced power cuts across the state and shortage of fertilisers putting the farmers to a lot of hardship. Even the state failed to provide Rs 1,000 per quintal as Minimum Support Price for paddy.

Highlighting these issues, the MDMK headed by him would stage a day-long fast on January 11 at Kovilpatti.

He also alleged that sand quarrying was rampant in several parts of the state, leading to depletion of ground water sources.

To a question, Mr Vaiko said the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project should be implemented without hurting the religious sentiments by exploring an alternative route.

Stating that the MDMK would launch an agitation if the Centre decided to hike the petrol and diesel prices, he said any such move would spell doom for the Congress, which dealt a severe blow in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls.

On the Malaysian Tamils issue, he said the issue should be dealt with cautiously.

UNI

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