M A I N   N E W S

AIADMK to go it alone in LS poll

Chennai, January 16
The ruling All-India Anna DMK (AIADMK) will go it alone in the coming Lok Sabha elections in the state, party General Secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa indicated today.

Even as the BJP was making overtures to forge an alliance with the AIADMK, Ms Jayalalithaa gave enough hint that her party would field candidates in all 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu.

‘‘The Lok Sabha elections are approaching. Only if we can raise our voice in unison in Parliament, we can secure the rights of the state. Our candidates (from Tamil Nadu) alone should go to Parliament,’’ she said in an epistle to partymen and exhorted them to work unitedly for 100 per cent victory.

Though she did not say it openly, her remarks that only the AIADMK candidates alone from the state should go to Parliament gave clear indications that the party would go solo in the elections.

Ms Jayalalithaa’s announcement has come at a time when the BJP, left alone in the state after the DMK, the PMK and the MDMK quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), was making all-out efforts to revive its ties with the AIADMK.

Soon after the DMK quit the NDA on December 20, BJP state unit President C. P. Radhakrishnan extended an open invitation to the AIADMK to head the NDA in Tamil Nadu.

NDA convener and Defence Minister George Fernandes and BJP National General Secretary L. Ganesan also expressed the desire to form an electoral alliance with the AIADMK, but the party supremo had been maintaining a stoic silence till she came out with the statement today.

As it is almost clear now that the AIADMK would go it alone, Tamil Nadu was all set to witness a three-cornered contest. The DMK had already formed a formidable alliance with the Congress, the PMK, the MDMK, the CPM, the CPI and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

The BJP, which was virtually left in the lurch, has to test the waters on its own.

In the 1999 Lok Sabha elections also, Tamil Nadu had witnessed a three-cornered contest, with the DMK leading the NDA with the BJP, the PMK and the MDMK, the AIADMK a secular front with the Congress and Left parties and the now defunct Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), leading the third front with the Puthiya Tamizhagam and other smaller parties.

While the DMK-led front secured 25 seats (the DMK-12, the PMK-5, the MDMK-4, the BJP-4), the AIADMK won from 14 seats (the AIADMK-11, the Congress-2 and the CPM-1) and the TMC-led front drew a blank. —UNI

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |