Speaker after speaker at the PMK’s general council meeting lambasted the DMK, but not one uttered a critical word about the Congress. “I’m extremely grateful for the encouragement given to me by the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi,” said Anbumani Ramadoss, even as he announced his decision to resign as Union Health Minister.
The party declared it was breaking away from the UPA, but the speeches made sent out a different message to the Congress — the PMK did not expect the separation to be long.
“Once the AIADMK-PMK-MDMK combine wins most of Tamil Nadu’s 39 seats, we believe the UPA, which will need all the support it can get, will dump the loser DMK and ally with us instead,” said a source close to the PMK.
PMK speakers were eloquent in discussing what went wrong with their relationship with the DMK. “The DMK systematically slighted and ignored the PMK,” said PMK chief S. Ramadoss. “They were not willing to let a PMK man become even a ward member in local body elections.”
The breaking point was a remark by a PMK functionary, ‘Kaduvetti’ Guru, in June last year, claiming he would like to ‘behead’ some DMK leaders. Karunanidhi seized on it to expel the PMK from the alliance. “It was casual remark made on the spur of the moment,” said Ramadoss. “Today’s response, in which our general council has voted overwhelmingly to join the AIADMK alliance, shows how deeply our party workers were hurt by the DMK’s action.”
Ramadoss also denied that the PMK was an opportunistic party that kept shifting its loyalty. “All elections in Tamil Nadu since 1967 have been fought between alliances whose members kept changing,” he said. “It is unfair to single out just the PMK as opportunistic.”