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UPA could lose key ally: PMK set to join AIADMK

UPA could lose key ally: PMK set to join AIADMK
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First Published: Wed, Mar 25 2009. 11 22 PM IST

New alliance: AIADMK party chief J. Jayalalithaa. R Senthil Kumar / PTI
New alliance: AIADMK party chief J. Jayalalithaa. R Senthil Kumar / PTI
Updated: Wed, Mar 25 2009. 11 22 PM IST
New Delhi: The ruling United Progressive Alliance could lose a key ally in Tamil Nadu. The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) is likely to join a rival formation led by J. Jayalalithaa’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), said a person close to the development.
The PMK’s general council, the highest decision-making body of the party, is meeting in Chennai on Thursday morning to take a final decision on the matter, this person said on condition of anonymity.
New alliance: AIADMK party chief J. Jayalalithaa. R Senthil Kumar / PTI
The PMK is part of the state-level Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA), which swept the polls in the last general election in 2004 and includes the Congress party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Vidudalai Chiruthaikal, and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) led by V. Gopalaswamy, popularly known as Vaiko.
The MDMK has already left DPA and joined hands with Jayalalithaa.
The PMK has strong support among the Vanniyar community, which is categorized as an Other Backward Class and comprise about 12% of the population in Tamil Nadu.
In 2004, PMK won in all the six parliamentary seats it contested and hopes to repeat the feat in the general election scheduled in April-May.
Its talks of seat-sharing with the DMK has broken down because it demanded seven contiguous seats that is said to have upset DMK supremo K. Karunanidhi because he fears this could later lead to a demand for a separate state for Vanniyars, said people familiar with the matter who declined to be named.
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First Published: Wed, Mar 25 2009. 11 22 PM IST