Monday, January 19, 2004

DPI to wait and watch for LS poll strategy

A day after threatening to take on the secular alliance led by DMK, DPI general secretary Thol Thirumavalavan who held that victory of any front in Tamilnadu would be of no concern to them today said the party would wait for a while before announcing the final decision on poll strategy.

'A final decision on our official stand vis-a-vis polls would be announced only after announcement of poll dates. In the meanwhile, we will decide today on our next course of action, including whether we must send feelers to political parties', Thirumavalavan told newspersons in a brief chat on the sidelines of their Central Committee meeting held in the city.

'Our meeting today is a preliminary effort on steps to take on forging an alliance. Several stands including whether we must go it alone will be discussed. We would also be approaching minority outfits, other Dalit outfits (Pudiya Tamizhagam president Krishnasamy spoke to me but our decision would be after Central committee meeting), Tamil nationalist organisations and also fishermen associations', he said.

The DPI leader said that in the last 50 years whenever elections were held, both the Dravidian parties had not given Dalits their rightful recognition. 'We cannot permit the situation to continue. Allotting seats in elections alone can be taken as rightful recognition of Dalits,' he said.

He denied that he had approached any political party on forming alliances. Asked if the DPI was prepared to split the votes of the opposition front forged by DMK and other parties against the AIADMK in the State and the BJP at then Centre, Thirumavalavan reasoned that the alliance formed by the DMK cannot be taken as a firm one. 'This alliance before elections is only a preliminary one. I doubt, as others do too, that it could undergo a change after elections. I am not ruling out the DMK again joining the BJP', he said.

Earlier, speaking in their Central Committee meeting attended by various district and chief office-bearers, Thirumavalavan said they were still fighting politically to get into the mainstream.

Dalit parties in Tamilnadu had not been getting the respect that Dalit parties in the northern States were receiving today, he said. 'Our question is not who would be MLA or MP. In a State where 80 per cent of the voters are Dalits we want political recognition'. He also hinted that the party has an eye on the Chidambaram seat.

Source: News Today, January 19, 2004

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