ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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KERALA-Aftermath of Fee Equalisation

October 28, 1972 huge fund. As the conscientious treasurer and founder member of the party, Ramachandran had asked for complete accounts of the funds handled by the leadership and for declaration of assets by leading party functionaries which seems to have become the immediate cause of the split. M G Ramachandran must have found to his chagrin that die split did not take place in the middle. In fact, the signature campaign against him by the members of the General Council was inspired from above to secure for the Chief Minister a free hand to deal with Ramachandran in a pre-emptive move, before the latter could rally his following for an open split. Those who had promised him support chickened out and chose to stay with the official leadership. The week following his suspension must have convinced Ramachandran that while his following among the rank and file was considerable the party machinery was in tact in Karunanidhi's hands, if only because he wielded power and had the state machinery to back him. Karunanidhi took a calculat ed risk in suspending Ramachandran at this stage in the belief he could forestall a serious party split. Karunanidhi, technically still has in tact four years of his five-year term and need not go for a fresh poll unless a sizeable number of MLAs defect to the splinter party. Such a polarisation in the DMK would have been easier if fresh polls were round the corner. In the absence of anything in the situation to force such polls, the MLAs would prefer to be with the ruling group and wait to size up the strength of the new party. The split will take quite some time to move up to the middle. A mass movement on some issue, jointly staged by the new party and the Congress-O might catalyse the situation but the new party and the ruling Congress together cannot get any worthwhile movement off the ground to bring down the Karunanidhi ministry. Any possibility of the split becoming complete in the near future depends on one unlikely circumstance: the ouster of the Karunanidhi ministry or the imminence of such a ouster while the ferment in the DMK is still on.

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