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DMK not averse to coalition govt: Karunanidhi

Written by: Staff
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Tuticorin, Apr 20: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) would not be averse to a coalition government, if it became inevitable after the May eight Assembly elections, party President M Karunanidhi announced today.

Talking to newspersons here before launching a whirlwind campaign in the southern districts, he said the formation of a coalition government, however, depended on the verdict of the people. If it became inevitable, the DMK would not be averse to it, he said.

This was the second time in a week that Mr Karunanidhi, heading the Democratic Progressiv Alliance (DPA), was talking about a coalition government.

If he had given a hint while addressing a book release function in Chennai earlies this week, the DMK leader was clearer today as he said the party would not mind sharing power with its allies.

To a question if DMK would mind sharing power with other parties in the event of a fractured mandate, Mr Karunanidhi said 'if a coalition government becomes inevitable the DMK will not oppose it'.

However, according to the present trend, the DMK had more chances to form the government on its own, he added.

Congress leader and Union Minister E V K S Elangovan was the first to demand share in power for the Congress last year, but after it became a major controversy, Mr Elangovan and the Congress had to drop the demand. When it threatened to cost his Ministership, Mr Elangovan called on Mr Karunanidhi and sorted out the issue.

Till last month, Mr Karunanidhi was ruling out the possibility of a coalition, saying none of the constituents in the DPA wanted share in power. He was confident the DMK would get majority on its own.

On Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's fresh offer of unconditional supply of 10 kg free rice to ration card holders, Mr Karunanidhi said people were mocking her promise now. Stating that the election manifesto of a political party was sacred, he said if party leaders made promises in line with promises made in manifestos, it would be natural. But Ms Jayalalithaa's annoucement was like a counter as if she had entered a boxing arena.

When the DMK promised to provide rice at Rs two per kg, Ms Jayalalaithaa ridiculed it, saying it was not possible and was an attempt to hoodwink the public, but now, changing her stand overnight, had announced 10 kg free rice.

This only reflected her fear of defeat in the hustings, he said, adding the AIADMK supremo's sudden promises were not announcements but her panic-stricken cry in fear of losing the battle.

Stating Ms Jayalalithaa would never fulfill her promises, he said the AIADMK, after coming to power, had not implemented any promise it had made in its manifesto prior to the 2001 Assembly elections.

The AIADMK, in its last poll manifesto, had promised to appoint teachers, wipe out unemployment, clear files in a week, provide free cooking gas to people in rural areas and create women industrial estates, but had implemented none of them, he alleged.

After giving the go-by to promises made in the manifesto, who would believe Ms Jayalalithaa if she made oral promises now, the DMK leader asked.

To a question, Mr Karunanidhi said if the DMK was voted to power, it would give priority to setting up industries in each district, based on local needs and inputs, so creating employment opportunities. Every time the DMK came to power, it had established industrial estates, paving the way for jobs to scores of people. Tidel Park was set up during the DMK's earlier regime, he said, adding similar Information Technology Parks would be established in each districts.

He said when the late Murasoli Maran was Union Minister for Industry and Commerce, the DMK wanted to set up a massive Industrial Park in Nanguneri in the district. It had acquired over 2000 acre of land, but before it could be established, the DMK was voted out.

If it was elected to power, the party would complete the Nanguneri project and strive to set up similar parks in other districts.

On actors entering politics not because of policies or principles but just because they were actors, Mr Karunanidhi said lack of awareness among the people was the main reason for this.

Making it clear that he was not against actors entering politics, the DMK leader regretted that this had become commercialised now.

UNI

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