MADURAI: Coalition partners have not gone into the nitty-gritty of an alliance but there seems to be no dearth of chief ministerial aspirants in the nascent People’s Welfare Alliance (PWA). Just three days after it held a State-level conference in Madurai, the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) has demanded that its leader Thol Thirumavalavan be announced as the PWA’s CM candidate for the upcoming assembly elections.
Thirumavalavan is the second leader whose name is suggested as the leader of the coalition after MDMK general secretary and PWA convenor Vaiko’s party cadre had put forth his name.
“We in Tamil Nadu are claiming to be a progressive State. However, there is none ready to declare a Dalit leader as the chief ministerial candidate. As the PWA has positioned itself as the alternate front, I hope they will announce our party’s president as the candidate ahead of the election,” VCK general secretary D Ravikumar told Express.
This demand from party cadre was not new, he said, pointing out that they had raised similar demands during internal meetings. States like Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharastra have had chief ministers from the Dalit community. Even in Bihar where Dalits are a minority, there was a person from the community who became the CM, Ravikumar said, noting that Dalits formed about 20 per cent of the population in the State.
The demand comes three days after the State level conference held in Madurai that was attended by top leaders of the constituent parties. According to VCK cadre, they form the largest contingent among the party. What was disappointing for them was that while other parties had two speakers each only Thirumavalavan addresse the meeting, who advised them to not pursue it.