DMDK chief Vijayakant on Tuesday expelled 10 functionaries, including three MLAs, who questioned the party’s decision to align with the four-party PWF.
The announcement comes within hours of the 10 senior functionaries raising a banner of revolt against the party high command’s decision to align with the Makkal Nala Kootani or People’s Welfare Front for the May 16, 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. The virtually gave an ultimatum to Vijayakant to reverse his decision by Wednesday noon.
The party’s whip in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, VC Chandrakumar, MLAs C.H. Sekar and S.R. Parthipan, besides seven others, displayed before reporters “a letter to Vijayakant” dated March 24, 2016, questioning his logic behind aligning with the PWF.
“The decision was not taken in line with the aspirations of party functionaries, workers and people whose sole motive is to throw out the Jayalalithaa government, and this is possible only by aligning with the DMK,” Mr. Chandrakumar said.
“The decision to align with the PWF is against the wishes of 95 per cent of party workers and functionaries who favour a tie-up with DMK,” he said.
Chandrakumar, representing Erode (East) in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, said they were never given an audience by Mr. Vijayakant to discuss the matter after he firmed up the alliance with the PWF on March 23, 2016.
“The decision has been taken by Captain (Vijayakant, as he is addressed by supporters) and Premalatha at their house whereas we have been moving at the grassroots level where supporters and people want DMDK to align with DMK,” he claimed.
Chandrakumar said they continued to be in the DMDK and had come out in the open only after having exhausted all other avenues to reach Vijayakant.
Responding to a question, he denied that the DMK or the party’s treasurer M.K. Stalin, who had said that the DMDK will weaken itself, had anything to do with their move.
Recalling his association with Vijayakant since his days in acting in the early 1980s, as a member of the actor’s welfare club, Mr. Chandrakumar said he and the others were part of building the party and assured their loyalty to their ‘Captain’.
He exuded confidence that the DMK will win the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections and its president M. Karunanidhi will become Chief Minister irrespective of whether the DMDK aligned with it or not.
Asked if Premalatha and her brother L Sutheesh had a firm say in the DMDK aligning with the PWF, Chandrakumar reiterated that the “decision was taken at home” but did not elaborate.
Breaking his suspense in the face of actively being wooed by the DMK and the BJP, Mr. Vijayakant on March 23, 2016, firmed up an alliance with the PWF, and earned the lion’s share of 124 of the 234 seats.
Vijayakant was declared the chief ministerial candidate of the DMDK-PWF alliance.