Debating India

TAMIL NADU

DMK looks forward to Assembly polls

Saturday 28 May 2005, by RADHAKRISHNANA*R.K.

Conference to focus on "deplorable manner" of governance in State

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IMPOSING FRONTAGE: The venue of the DMK’s zonal conference to be held on the Neelambur bypass road on the outskirts of Coimbatore beginning on Saturday. - Photo: M. Periasamy

CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s zonal conference opens in Coimbatore on Saturday against the backdrop of the AIADMK’s victory in the Gummidipoondi and Kancheepuram byelections, and the charge sheet against top DMK leaders in the flyover scam case.

All the party’s top leaders and alliance parties’ heads will speak on the concluding day, as they have done in the previous zonal conferences at Thanjavur and Dindigul.

Not issues

Asked if the submission of charge sheets and the byelection defeat would be the focus of the deliberations, the conference president, Arcot N. Veerasamy said that these were not big issues. "They [the AIADMK Government] have filed so many cases against all of us. Some of these have been laughable," he said pointing to the drama surrounding the manner in which the police submitted the charge sheet at the VI Additional Sessions Court in the city on Thursday. "We are not bothered about the number of cases they file against us. Everyone in this State is aware as to why these cases are foisted on us."

Many senior leaders in the part reflect Mr.Veerasamy’s views. "Only if they did not file will one wonder," said the party principal secretary, Durai Murugan. Both the submission of the charge sheet and the defeat in the byelections were "small incidents" to deserve any serious attention.

Mr.Durai Murugan pointed out that the ruling party had won most of the byelections held since it came to power. He contended that this was "only natural" given the fact that the official machinery was "misused." The DMK had taken the defeat in its stride and now looked forward to the Assembly elections. The focus would be on the "deplorable manner" in which the AIADMK has governed the State, he said.

Senior leaders said that no section of people have been spared by the Government. Narrating instances of policy-level confusion in the administration, including that of the indirect free power supply and the ban on conversions, they said that the Government doing one thing in the morning and undoing that by the evening has been an endemic problem.

Display of strength

The Coimbatore conference will be an occasion to showcase the combined strength of the parties and will once again underline the fact that the allies - the Congress, the Pattali Makkal Katchi, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and a host of smaller parties are with the DMK. The PMK founder, S.Ramadoss, who could not make it to the Thanjavur conference, has promised to be present in Coimbatore.

Missing from the line-up will be the MDMK general secretary, Vaiko, who is not in the country. The MDMK treasurer, M. Kannappan will stand in for Mr. Vaiko.

Final touches are being given to the venue, located on the Coimbatore bypass. Many party seniors have visited the site and offered suggestions to make sure that the event, expected to attract party cadre from all over the State, is held without any hitch.

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