Determined to Win, PMK Does a BSP in Tamil Nadu

PMK is now trying to shed its ‘Vanniyar caste’ image by propping up candidates of all communities.

Updated
Politics
2 min read
PMK founder Dr Ramadoss releases manifesto for the Tamil Nadu assembly elections. (Photo: <i>IANS</i>)

In a bid to do a BSP in Tamil Nadu, the PMK is now trying to shed its ‘Vanniyar caste’ image by propping up candidates of all communities. The party’s chief ministerial candidate, Anbumani Ramadoss, has addressed several meetings to convince party leaders and cadres that it is time to bring about a transformation within.

PMK founder, S Ramadoss. (Photo: The News Minute)
PMK founder, S Ramadoss. (Photo: The News Minute)
This time, we have fielded candidates from a cross-section of the society: Brahmins, Christians, Muslims, Dalits, Mudaliars and others apart from Vanniars. We have fielded 48 Dalits, though the number of reserved constituencies in the state is only 46. We are going that extra mile.
Ramadoss

Like the BSP in northern India, which once refused to see beyond the Dalit vote bank, the PMK has been solidly identified with the Vanniyar caste, which accounts for 20-25 percent of Tamil Nadu’s population.

Also not unlike the BSP, the PMK seems to have realised that a single caste can never prop up any party to power. This time, the PMK is contesting the election to the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly without any allies. In the process, it has taken on the two major parties: the AIADMK and the DMK.
Ramadoss said the idea was to attract the neutral and new voters that is said to number around 1.5 crore. The state election is due on May 16.

The PMK has also fielded several young and new faces, who were not even its members.

The clear trend is that people want a change - a fresh alternative to the two Dravidian parties, AIADMK and DMK. The youth certainly thinks that I can provide the much needed quality change than other options.
Ramadoss told IANS

Of course, the PMK, like others, is making plenty of promises to the voters. Those in the farm sector have been promised free seeds, fertiliser and farm motors. Their loans will be written off. The PMK has also promised to give Rs 100,000 worth of freebies a year to each family for education, agriculture and health heads.

I will meet the leaders of the opposition every month. And during assembly session 70 percent of the time will be given to opposition parties. The proceedings will be telecast live
Ramadoss, when asked what kind of Chief Minister he will be

The PMK has also promised doubling of budget allocation for education and provision of free school education.

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