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Converging objectives bring AIADMK, Left together

[TOI, Wednesday, 10 December 2008 09:05 No Comment]

CHENNAI: The AIADMK has to avenge its absolute drubbing in the last election; and the Left has to improve its position in Parliament as well as prevent both the Congress and the BJP from capturing power. The convergence of these aims is behind the AIADMK-Left axis in Tamil Nadu. The two forces believe they can provide a formidable challenge to the DMK-Congress front that swept the polls in the state in 2004.

The CPM and CPI may justify the new alliance by saying they wanted a stronger alliance to take on the "pro-imperialist" Congress as well as dash the hopes of the saffron forces returning to power after the general elections.
The AIADMK led by J Jayalalithaa, which drew a blank in the last Lok Sabha elections, is keen to give a fitting reply to the DMK and play a big role in the next government. On the other hand, the CPI and CPM want to retain the two seats they won each and improve on the tally, if they are given more. Besides, the alliance may help broaden their base.

As part of the rainbow alliance forged by the DMK against then Jayalalithaa regime, the CPM won Madurai and Nagercoil constituencies, while the CPI captured Coimbatore and Tenkasi (reserved). The CPI and CPM hope to get one additional seat each, taking the Left tally in the Lok Sabha from the state to six.
The Communists foresee no problem in seat-sharing. Besides Madurai and Nagercoil, the CPM will probably ask for North Chennai, Dindigul and Coimbatore. The CPI will, in all probability, make a pitch for Nagapattinam (reserved) besides Krishnagiri and Tenkasi. Home minister P Chidambaram’s Sivaganga too is in its wish list.
Worried about reverses in the Left bastions of Kerala and West Bengal, the two parties want to reap the benefits of a possible anti-incumbency mood in Tamil Nadu. In 1999, they aligned with the AIADMK-Congress combine. However, the front lost to the DMK-BJP alliance. The CPI lost its citadel Nagapattinam and also Coimbatore, while the CPM managed to win only in Madurai and came a cropper in North Chennai.
A senior CPM leader said the AIADMK and Left would make a winning combination. In the 2006 Assembly elections, the AIADMK managed to win 61 constituencies without any major ally, barring MDMK and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, and deny the DMK a majority of its own. The difference in vote share between the rival fronts was meagre.

"Like in the 2004 elections, which revolved around Jayalalithaa’s wrongdoings in the state, the failures of the DMK government on various fronts will come to the fore in 2009. The Karunanidhi regime’s image has got a beating because of its ally PMK’s strident criticism. The people will show their anger against the DMK," said a senior CPM leader.

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However, Karunanidhi discounted the theory, saying the outcome of elections in five states had shown that there was no anti-incumbency factor at work. "The idea of a third front being pursued by the Communists is also an illusion," he said.

 

Converging objectives bring AIADMK, Left together-Chennai-Cities-The Times of India

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