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PMK to discuss alliance on January 12

VILLUPURAM JAN. 6. The high-power political affairs committee of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) will meet in Chennai on January 12 to decide its stand on the Lok Sabha elections, S. Ramadoss, founder-leader, said today.

Addressing a press conference at Thailapuram, near here, he said the meeting would take stock of the political situation and discuss the alliance issue. Based on the outcome, he would hold talks with leaders of allies.

The party would announce its ``appropriate decision on alliance at an appropriate time.'

In the absence of any announcement from the Chief Election Commissioner about Parliament elections — due only in September, the PMK was in no hurry to spell out its strategy, Dr. Ramadoss said.

There was no question of the PMK remaining being undecided (on the alliance issue) or following an opportunistic political line as portrayed by the media. If changing political partners was termed ``opportunistic,'' no party could escape criticism and since 1967 no single alliance that remained constant, he said.

On the emergence of a third front, Dr. Ramadoss categorically said whether it came into being or not, ``the PMK would not be in the third front.''

He said that after the 2001 Assembly elections, the PMK was the first to come out of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-led front to safeguard its self-respect and dignity, and later, other parties followed suit.

Dr. Ramadoss said that for the past two years the PMK had joined hands with other parties to raise its voice against the Government's ``anti-people policies.'' ``Even now the PMK continues to hold the same position, and there is no change.'' It was maintaining friendly relations with all parties barring the AIADMK, he said.

Owing to force of circumstances, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had come out of the National Democratic Alliance Government, but there was no such compulsion for the PMK, he said. Certain dailies misreported him as having said the PMK would align with a party which allocated it 10 Lok Sabha seats, Dr. Ramadoss said.

Reacting to the observation by the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, L. Ganesan, that the ``PMK's stand looks like bargaining for dowry before clinching a marriage alliance,'' Dr. Ramadoss said since Mr. Ganesan was a bachelor he was not aware that there could be no wedding without talks.

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