PUDUCHERRY: The last time the AIADMK had gone solo to the hustings, the results were favourable. It won and formed the government, albeit a shortlived one. That was 38 years ago. Much has changed since 1977, and the party hopes to repeat its ’70s era exploits by going solo in the upcoming Assembly polls. The question is will lady luck smile again on the party?
“It is really difficult to predict the outcome in a multi-cornered contest,” says S Ramasamy, who was the chief minister when AIADMK came to power in 1974 and 1977.
Recalling his tenure, Ramasamy, who had been elected from Karaikal (South), said that in 1974 a minority government assumed power. With 12 MLAs, AIADMK formed the government backed by two CPI and one CPM MLAs. It was a shortlived victory, as the government fell in 22 days, with government facing defeat during the Vote-on-Account.
In 1974, the AIADMK contested 27 seats, winning 15. It formed the government with an Independent’s support, said Ramasamy. The two-member cabinet, with Ramasamy as the Chief Minister and D Ramachandran as the Home Minister, lasted 16 months, before collapsing due to defection.
“Though there was scope for five ministerial positions, the then party president M G Ramachandran decided to confine the cabinet to two,” says D Ramachandran.
From then on, the party has contested all polls in alliance with the either Congress, the PMK or the Puducherry Makkal Congress.
In 2016, the AIADMK has its eyes set on all the 30 seats. A major reason behind the newfound strength is the added muscle power the party has gained by inducting strong dissidents from other parties.
On the top of list of strong acquisitions remains political bigwig and former Rajya Sabha member P Kannan, who quit Congress. The others beefing up the party are independent MLA VMC Sivakumar; former MLAs K Natarajan, Dr M A S Subramanian and V K Ganapathy.
The party has also provided ample opportunity to first-time contestants, who had been nurturing their constituencies like Vaiyapuri Manikandan. He was the former chairman of Puducherry Tourism Development Corporation and also a confidante of N Rangasamy.
“We went solo and formed government in 1974 and 1977. But, it was a long time back. Now, we need to really work hard to win the election,” says MLA A Anbazhagan.