CHENNAI: MDMK chief Vaiko sparked a controversy on Friday claiming that DMK offered a whopping Rs 500 crore and 80 seats to DMDK to lure Vijayakanth. He added that BJP, another suitor, offered poll funds, a Rajya Sabha seat and a ministerial berth to make DMDK return to NDA. Though the comment was seemingly made to glorify Vijayakanth as having rejected the offer, it created a flutter as the latter has been insisting on not having held any talks with anyone.
It set off a flurry of reactions: first from Vijayakanth’s wife and chief campaigner of the party Premalatha, who denied it and told reporters to seek clarification from Vaiko, while DMK president M Karunanidhi slapped him with a defamation notice.
In Madurai, Vaiko said Vijayakanth refused the offers and instead chose the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) to contest the Assembly polls. Vijayakant, he added, was not ready to accept the money.
At her campaign meeting at Tirunelveli, Premalatha defended Vaiko, stating he had only said what he had read in newspapers. Karunanidhi cited Premalatha’s comments to buttress his claim that there has been no talks held between the two parties.
Premalatha is touring all corporations of the state till April 5. The MDMK leader and other leaders of the PWF—Thol Thirumavalavan (VCK), G Ramakrishnan CPI(M) and R Mutharasan (CPI)—earlier attended the launch of the digital edition of Tamil daily Theekkadhir, brought out by CPI(M). Prof Ravindran, DMDK’s literary wing secretary, represented Vijayakanth. DMDK leader V C Chandrakumar will attend conferences on March 28, 29 and 30 in the southern districts. “We have started our campaign on a war footing,” Vaiko said. “Our election manifesto is underway.”
“Vijayakanth is our CM candidate. He will be campaigning after we prepare a list of candidates,” Vaiko said. "A grand event is planned in Chennai in mid-April in which Vijayakanth will participate and the contestants list will be released then," he added.