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Vaiko quits DMK led DPA, renewes alliance with AIADMK

By Super

Chennai, Mar 4: The MDMK today (Mar 4, 2006) quit the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) and renewed its alliance with the ruling AIADMK for the May eight Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu.

A week after pledging his loyalty to the DMK, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko buried the hatchet and called on AIADMK Supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at her Poes Garden residence to formalise the alliance.

There were scenes of jubilation as scores of MDMK workers thronged the Poes Garden area, as Mr Vaiko, accompanied by party Presidium Chairman L Ganesan, drove into Ms Jayalalithaa's residence at about 1145 hrs. AIADMK election wing Secretary and State Revenue Minister O Panneerselvam, Propaganda Secretary O S Manian and Organising Secretary K A Sengottaiyan were present during the meeting.

Mr Vaiko turned an acerbic critic of Ms Jayalalithaa when she got the firebrand MDMK leader arrested under the now-repealed POTA. But now Mr Vaiko has proved right the adage that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics. He was incarcerated in Vellore prison for more than 500 days for speaking in support of the banned LTTE and never missed out an opportunity to hit out against her.

But sinking the differences, the MDMK leader finally made up his mind to ally with Ms Jayalalithaa to contest the ensuing Assembly polls.

His decision to forge an alliance with the AIADMK, came barely ten days after he asserted his party's continuance in the DPA and a day after DMK President M Karunanidhi issued an ultimatum asking him to accept the 22 seats offered by him to stay in the Front.

The decision to quit the DPA and join hands with the AIADMK was taken after hectic rounds of parleys Mr Vaiko held with his party workers and office bearers.

Mr Vaiko discussed the issue at length with the Party office bearers and district secretaries at a marathon meeting, that stretched beyond midnight last night. Party sources said one section favoured continuance of MDMK in the DPA, while the other wanted to ally with the AIADMK. But the meeting ''unanimously'' authorised Mr Vaiko to take a final decision on the alliance issue, the sources said.

Incidentally Mr Vaiko has renewed his alliance with the AIADMK after a gap of about eight years.

The MDMK had snapped ties in 1998 in protest against Ms Jayalalithaa's decision to pull down the NDA government led by BJP leader A B Vajpayee and contested the 1999 and 2004 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with DMK.

The MDMK drew a blank in the 1996 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu after aliging with the CPI(M).

The scoreline again was nil in the 2001 Assembly polls when the party decided to go it alone ''in the last minute'' after nearly inking a pact with the DMK. A hitch over identification of seats had led to the 11th hour pull out of MDMK from the alliance and contest on its own.



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