CHENNAI: Left distraught over PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss’ comments during a recent TV channel interview, the party’s second-rung leaders and cadre have raised worries over their prospects in the upcoming local body polls. PMK’s alliance partner AIADMK’s cadre too shared similar concerns. During the interview, Ramadoss said that his party would go it alone in the 2026 Assembly elections with Dr Anbumani Ramadoss as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
Though he had asserted that the ties with AIADMK are plain sailing and that both parties would face the civic body polls together, his premature declaration to split away and face Assembly elections alone may have given the game away.
“It is already widely perceived that our alliance lost the general polls owing to the lack of chemistry between cadres of the alliance parties,” a PMK functionary told Express on the condition of anonymity. “In this situation, our leader’s remarks will surely affect the prospects of functionaries who are aspiring for the local body postings,” he said.
Noting that it was unusual for the PMK to decide electoral alliances five years in advance, the functionary asked, “Fine, even if that decision was made, what was the need to declare it now itself?” Another PMK cadre also told Express that the declaration has distressed party’s district-level leaders who had aspired for the mid-level local body postings of union chairman and district councillor.
Padayachiyar Peravai State President Thiruvarur Gandhi feels that Ramadoss’ statement will damage not just his party’s prospects, but also the AIADMK’s chances in the upcoming polls. “How will cadres of both parties work together if they know that soon they would be fighting against each other? Also, now they have to face the local body polls, being in the Opposition, unlike last time. So, his remarks will affect the entire team,” he added. One of the AIADMK functionaries in Kallakurichi district, where the rural local body election is anticipated anytime soon, echoed the same view.
Meanwhile, Vanniyar Federation founder CN Ramamurthy feels that the remarks were Ramadoss’ tactic to build up bargaining power. “However, the ground-level workers are going to be the ultimate victims. Now, the AIADMK won’t allocate a fair number of seats to PMK, and even in those seats they won’t let PMK candidates win,” Ramamurthy told Express.
The remarks have led to discontent in the PMK circles, vouches veteran journalist and political observer T Koodalarasan. “A good secret should remain a secret till the last moment. By disclosing his long term goal Ramadoss has indirectly burned the party’s short term goals,” he said. On the other hand, former minister and AIADMK spokesperson Vaigai Selvan said that the remarks will have no effect on the local body polls. “Politicians and cadres always concentrate on the job at hand and don’t worry about future goals,” he added. PMK leaders approached by AIADMK refused to comment.
“It is already widely perceived that our alliance lost the general polls due to differences between cadres of alliance parties”, a PMK man said