TN ELECTION

Mutiny in Captain's ship

vijayakanth-PWA-rift (File) Vijayakanth has expelled 15 party functionaries for objecting to his decision to join hands with Vaiko | PTI
  • We want an alliance with Karunanidhi's) DMK only. The DMDK-PWA alliance will only benefit Jayalalithaa. We want our captain to re-think on his decision with PWA. The decision is suicidal—DMDK propaganda secretary V.C. Chandrakumar

The brewing discontent within Vijayakanth's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam has hit a fever pitch with the actor-turned politician expelling 15 party functionaries, who had asked him to reconsider his decision to join the four-party People's Welfare Alliance led by Vaiko.

The fissures within the party became apparent when DMDK propaganda secretary V.C. Chandrakumar openly opposed Vijayakanth's decision to join hands with Vaiko. He has said 95 per cent of the DMDK workers, across ranks, were unhappy with it and that Vijayakanth took the decision without consulting the office bearers.

"We are not coming out of DMDK. We are only trying to reach out to our captain through the media. We want an alliance with (Karunanidhi's) DMK only. The DMDK-PWA alliance will only benefit Jayalalithaa. We want our captain to re-think on his decision with PWA. The decision is suicidal,” Chandrakumar has said.

Even as the Chandrakumar's objections highlighted the discontent within the decade-old party, there were widespread speculation that the DMDK rebellion was engineered by the DMK. However, by swiftly expelling all the 15 rebel leaders, the Captain seems to have nipped a revolt in the bud.

Earlier, two district secretaries has quit the party citing the same reasons, and joined the DMK. Although Vijayakanth was unfazed by the sudden switch of loyalties, Chandrakumar's rebellion will be a bigger headache to him as he was one of the DMDK chief's trusted lieutenant. Considered the Erode strongman, he is one of the few known faces in the party.

In the last five years, seven sitting DMDK MLAs switched sides to AIADMK of which two—Mafoi K. Pandiarajan and Dinakaran—have been offered AIADMK tickets.

For Vijayakanth, who launched DMDK in 2005 by pitching himself as the alternative for Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, this election is crucial, with him having to negotiate the added task of keeping the dissenting flock together.

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