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January 9, 2002
1901 IST

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CPI not to back Dravidian parties in TN by-polls

N Sathiya Moorthy in Chennai

The state secretariat of the Communist Party of India on Wednesday formally decided against backing either the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam rival.

With the Communist Party of India (Marxist) too expected to follow suit, a third front under the Congress is likely to emerge for the February 21 assembly by-elections for three seats in Tamil Nadu.

The possibility of a third front will depend on the decision of the Tamil Maanila Congress, which like the other three parties, feels rejected by the AIADMK, but is unable to accept the DMK because of its alliance with the 'communal' BJP.

"We will not support either the AIADMK or the DMK," the CPI state secretary R Nallakannu said after the state secretariat meeting of the party in Chennai on Wednesday.

Expressing the Left's inability to move towards the DMK because of the BJP presence, and attributing it as among the cause for the 'sweeping assembly poll victory' of the AIADMK-led Secular Front last year, a CPI resolution, however condemned the 'anti-people, anti-labour' policies of the AIADMK government in the state.

The resolution also criticised the AIADMK for its support to the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance and its efforts to moving closer to the BJP, 'forgetting the secularist agenda for the assembly polls'.

The by-elections, the first since the AIADMK came to power in May last, assumes significance in the light of former chief minister and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa's decision to contest the Andipatti seat, vacated for her by incumbent legislator Thanga Thamizselvan.

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