Left parties suffer setback as AIADMK boycotts fast

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Chennai, Oct 2 (UNI) The Left parties' effort to form a third front in Tamil Nadu, by roping in the AIADMK, suffered a major setback today, as the Dravidian party backed out and boycotted the fast organised by the Communist Party of India (CPI), urging the Sri Lankan Government to stop attacks on Tamil people by its Army.

AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa, who wrote to CPI state unit secretary D Pandian, offering support to the fast and agreeing to depute party senior leader S Muthusamy, withdrew her support at the eleventh hour, keeping the Left parties guessing on the alliance issue.

At one stage, it appeared that the CPI was setting the stage for a political realignment in the state, but Ms Jayalalithaa sent waves of disappointment to the Left parties by withdrawing support to the fast.

Mr Pandian, in the morning, announced at the fasting venue that AIADMK Organsing Secretary and former Minister S Muthusamy would address the agitators, but the AIADMK leader never turned up.

Sources in AIADMK said that Mr Muthusamy was contacted by the party high command last night and was told that he need not go to the fasting venue.

Though the AIADMK has not sent any communication to the CPI, it was believed that Ms Jayalalithaa was upset with the rousing reception given to her bete-noire and Vijayakanth's DMDK Presidium Chairman Panruti S Ramachandran and the participation of some pro-LTTE outfits.

Political circles also speculated that Ms Jayalalithaa would have decided against offering support, because of the presence of Tamil National Movement leader P Nedumaran, who offered open support to the outlawed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

She was also apparently not happy with some pro-Eelam parties like the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), expressing solidarity with the left parties on the Tamils issue. VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan addressed the agitators.

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