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PMK-AIADMK alliance: Cong downplays it, Left rejoices

March 26, 2009 15:47 IST
The Congress on Thursday sought to play down the effect of its ally Pattalli Makkal Katchi in Tamil Nadu going with the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, saying it had made every effort to keep the United Progressive Alliance intact.

"What I can say is that every effort has been made to reach out and keep the UPA alliance going. I have no doubt as far as the Congress stands, we have reached out to the maximum," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singvi said in New Delhi as the PMK general council overwhelmingly favoured aligning with AIADMK.

However, he said if any partner wanted to "dilute the alliance, it would have to take the responsibility for whatever happens".

Singhvi's comments came even as the Bharatiya Janata Party said PMK's parting ways showed that the UPA coalition was "disintegrating".

The Congress leader said the party had never broken alliance with PMK and there was "no question of keeping an option open".

"For local reasons, if they have differences and they have joined somebody else, that is a different issue," Singhvi said, adding that Congress had a "broad spectrum of alliance" in Tamil Nadu.

Reacting to the development, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "It forms a general pattern that the UPA is disintegrating. It is disintegrating before the 2009 elections, that is the bottom line."

Congress media department chief M Veerappa Moily said the PMK-AIADMK alliance did not come as a "surprise" or "disappointment" as his party was aware of the developments "since about eight to nine months".

"It is not really shocking and we are not that disappointed because we knew the developments in Tamil Nadu since about eight to nine months," Moily said.

Welcoming the development (PMK-AIADMK alliance), the Communist Party of India National Secretary D Raja said PMK has been distancing itself from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-Congress combine on various issues like reservation to the Other Backward Class and the government's approach to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

"Finally, it had broken from the DMK-Congress combine and aligned with the AIADMK-Left alliance which is a significant development," he said.

The AIADMK-Left combine has become "more formidable" with this development and PMK parting ways with its ruling ally is a "big blow to the ruling Democratic Progressive Alliance in the state," Raja said.

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