Dalits will emerge as a force : DPI

(By Our Special Correspondent)

Chennai, April 16 : The Dalitswould emerge as a powerful political force in the Assembly elections and their votebank would consolidate in favour of the DMK front, according to the Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) convenor, Mr. R. Thirumavalavan.

Though the DMK Government repressed the DPI, the party decided to align with the ruling party to fight the “casteist” PMK, Mr. Thirumavalavan said, participating in a “Meet the Press” of the Chennai Press Club.

Another Dalit ally of the DMK, the Puthiya Tamilagam leader Dr. K. Krishnaswamy, who was to jointly address the press meet, did not turn up. Downplaying his absence, Mr. Thirumalavan said he had no differences with the PT leader and that the two would jointly campaign in the election.

Justifying his alliance with the DMK, Mr. Thirumalavan said : “ Our alliance is not with the DMK Government and we continue to be critical of it. Our alliance is with the DMK to defeat the PMK.”

The AIADMK had allotted only one seat to its Dalit partners, even that was in a “sure-to-lose” constituency in Chennai, while the DMK had shared 20 seats with the Dalit outfits in its front.

Also, the AIADMK had fielded a “weak” Dalit candidate, Mr. Dalit Ezhimalai, in the non-reserved Tiruchi parliamentary constituency, to please the BJP, he charged.

The DPI would announce its candidates for the eight Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu and two in Pondicherry tomorrow. Mr. Thirumalavan said he would either contest from Samayanallur or Mangalur in Tamil Nadu.

Source:(“The Hindu”, Chennai Edn., April 17, 2001, Tuesday)
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: April 17, 2001
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