In what could be viewed as an attempt to drive a wedge between the Dalit community, the PMK on Saturday trained its guns on VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, portraying him as an “insignificant” leader who represented only a section of the Scheduled Castes.
The attempt at isolating Thirumavalavan comes in the wake of a sustained campaign by the party to mobilise all intermediate leaders on a non-Dalit platform following community clashes in Dharmapuri recently.
At a conference against misuse of the SC/ST Act that the party organised on Saturday, there was clearly an attempt to seclude Thirumavalavan within the Dalit community as leader of only a particular sect. For this, the party chose to field its general secretary Vadivel R avanan, a Dalit himself, who traced the genesis of the VCK chief’s career as a politician right from his days in Madurai. He said majority of groups that work in the name of promoting Dalit welfare were floated by people from the sect that Thirumavalavan represented. Many of them, he said, had links to people from VCK. “These organisations get lot of foreign aid, which is one of their aims,” he charged, pointing to the fact that Dalit sects such as Arunthatiyars benefited little from such activities.
Party founder Ramadoss said the VCK cadre have resorted to violence at the instigation of their leader.
The PMK, he said, was compiling information on such anti-social activities in the Dalit outfit.
He said while the Dravidian parties were highly skeptical in drafting the VCK into alliances in the late 1990s, it was the PMK that persuaded them to take them in the fold. “We hoped to reform them but we now understand it was not possible. By and by, the parties that are sharing platform with Thirumavalavan will also understand this,” he remarked.