CHENNAI: With MDMK extending support to DMK candidate Marudhu Ganesh in the RK Nagar by-election, all four constituents of erstwhile People’s Welfare Alliance (PWA) have now rallied behind the principal opposition party in their bid to unite against what they alleged the ‘subservient’ AIADMK government and ‘communal saffron brigade’ attempting to ‘undermine’ the principle of federalism and State autonomy.
After chairing a meeting of the high-level committee of the party here on Sunday, Vaiko told reporters that a unanimous decision was taken to extend support to DMK in the by-election.
“It is the need of the hour to teach a lesson to the AIADMK government which has lost the confidence of the people. The MDMK has the historical duty to safeguard Dravidian movement. So, the party decides to support to DMK candidate and work for his victory,” a resolution passed at the meeting said.
He alleged that Hindutva forces and arch rivals of Dravidian movement were mounting an attack from all directions to break the fortress of Dravidian movement which was built over a century through commendable sacrifice and unfathomable achievements. The meeting between Vaiko and DMK working president MK Stalin at Coimbatore Airport a few days ago is said to have clinched the deal. Obliging Stalin’s request, it is learnt that Vaiko decided to throw his weight behind the DMK candidate. Vaiko, who broke away from DMK in the early 90s to float his party, had later forged ties with the parent party before snapping ties in 2006 when he chose to go with AIADMK for the Assembly elections.
In 2016 general elections, Vaiko and Stalin exchanged barbs and jibes with the latter frequently calling the then People’s Welfare Alliance (PWA) led by the former as ‘B Team’ of AIADMK.
The PWA which comprised Left parties, CPI-M and CPI, and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) faced the polls in the company of Vijayakant’s DMDK and GK Vasan’s Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) but drew a blank and subsequently dissipated.
Ironically, all the four constituents of PWA, which had trumpeted to be an alternative to both the Dravidian majors, have now found that in the present situation they have no other option but back the DMK. The then two allies of PWA, DMDK and TMC have decided to step away from the bypoll. The RK Nagar by-election has now become a rallying point for almost all opposition parties to strengthen the hand of DMK but whether they can pull on depends upon certain factors. However, Vaiko said, “I hope this is a good beginning.”
Stalin hails decision
DMK working president MK Stalin on Sunday welcomed the MDMK’s decision to support party candidate Maruthu Ganesh. He said Vaiko had taken this decision, to redeem the State from the danger it was facing, with the help of all opposition parties united. Replying to a question whether the alliance would continue for Parliamentary elections and Assembly elections, Stalin said, “They have extended support for the RK Nagar by-election now. When the Parliamentary polls come, we will discuss and decide.”
Sarathkumar snaps ties with AIADMK
Meanwhile, film actor R Sarathkumar’s All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) has snapped its ties with the official AIADMK, citing the ‘changing colours’ of politics and self-respect as the reason. Pointing out that eight months ago, Chief Minister Edappadi k Palaniswami campaigned for ‘Hat’ symbol (allotted to TTV Dhinakaran then) and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam for the ‘Twin Electric Pole’, he said that they are now campaigning for the ‘Two Leaves’.
Three TTV supporters arrested
Chennai: Three supporters of ousted AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran were arrested on Sunday for allegedly disturbing and insulting the other party members during filing of nomination for RK Nagar two days ago. According to a police press release, flying squad officer Selvakumar filed a complaint with Tondiarpet police against Dhinakaran faction supporters. The arrested were as D Babu (52) from Washermenpet, S Selvam (48) from Tondiarpet and P Thangamani (56) from Tiruvottiyur.
Filing of nomination papers ends today
Chennai: Even as new candidates are jumping into the fray in the RK Nagar by-election, the deadline for filing nomination papers ends on Monday. After notification was issued, candidates started filing papers from November 27. So far, 30 candidates including top contenders E Madhusudanan (AIADMK), Maruthu Ganesh (DMK) and TTV Dhinakaran (AIADMK rebel) have filed papers. Nominations will be scrutinised on Tuesday (Dec.5) and a final list of eligible candidates will be released after the willing candidates withdraw their papers on Dec. 6 and 7. Polling will be held on Dec. 21 and counting of votes on Dec.24, according to the notification.