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Vaiko's exit doesn't worry DMK
March 07, 2006 15:11 IST
Unperturbed by the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's decision to quit the seven-party Democratic Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu, the alliance leader Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam began its campaign for the May 8 Assembly elections.
The campaign was kicked off at its three-day conference in Tiruchirappalli with a massive show of strength.
Hundreds of thousands of party volunteers from all over the state converged in the city.
Many party workers said they were relieved following the MDMK's exit since the party can now allot a few more seats to other allies.
All the speakers at the conference, including party chief M Karunanidhi, refrained from making a direct reference to MDMK chief Vaiko, in a hint that the party cadre need not worry about his exit.
Party leaders say Vaiko's credibility will take a beating now as he had till last month vowed to unseat Jayalalithaa and had even launched a padayatra demanding her resignation.
In the 2001 polls, the MDMK thwarted the DMK's chances in over 25 seats, mainly in the southern parts of the state.
The show of strength at the conference is also seen as a message to the Congress that the DMK does not favour a coalition in the state on the UPA model at the Centre.
The Election Commission released the poll schedule just before the conference began and the DMK utilised the opportunity by turning it as a launch pad for electioneering.
Alliance leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, spoke of the need to "relieve the state from the clutches of the AIADMK rule" and highlighted several schemes of the UPA government that benefited the state.
The speakers recounted the AIADMK government's "misdeeds" and "hurdles created" by Jayalalithaa in implementing several central schemes, particularly the Sethusamudram Canal Project and the desalination plant for Chennai.
The much-expected announcement on the seat sharing arrangement among the constituents of DPA was not made as the talks remained inconclusive.
But the leaders cautioned workers not to be "over confident" and directed them to start electioneering in right earnest.
The DPA swept the last Lok Sabha elections winning all the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Pondicherry.