Protests in the DMK have arisen over the underrepresentation of minority communities, especially Muslims, in the newly reconstituted party district committees.
The cadres and some district functionaries were upset over the party conducting unilateral nominations for the committees instead of elections making it totally out of reach for those who had aired their differences openly against the local district leadership.
Several leaders in district committees that were reconstituted have collected details on the newly formed committees and found that there was an underrepresentation of the minority communities in the committees.
A district leader of the party from Tiruchi while speaking to IANS said, “I can’t come out in the open but DMK is slowly turning into a political party with a lot of sycophants giving wrong feedback to the state leadership. Our party had in the past prided itself for the homogenous representation of all people in the district committees and unfortunately, the newly constituted district committees have a major shortage of minorities, especially the Muslims.”
The leader said that many disgruntled leaders across the state are planning to meet the party president and Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to air their grievances and to apprise him that the party would lose ground in the run-up to the general elections if this issue was not treated on war footing.
Another leader told IANS that influential leaders of the party deprived the workers of a fair opportunity to choose people in the district committees and instead foisted district committee members according to the choice of the party’s influential leaders.
The cadres and local leaders rue that several party hoppers were given undue representation while dedicated party cadres were cold-shouldered and that this was due to the wrong feedback given to the state leadership.
A senior leader pointed out that in Coimbatore South district committee of the party, there is no Muslim representation even though the community has a strong presence in the district. The leader said that this would backfire on the party in the long run.
The leaders pointed out that when the state leadership invited applications for the district-level posts, it was made clear that two general council members would be elected per Assembly constituency and aspirants could file the nominations as per the number of Assembly seats in their districts. One executive committee member would be given to each Assembly constituency. However, when the results were announced, there were 73 extra general council members and 22 Executive committee members who were against the party rule.
Interestingly the local leaders said that there were instances of one man being given two posts and several families getting representation.
The DMK, which has always prided itself on the representation of all communities in its party district and state committees, is facing a problem over the underrepresentation of the Muslim community which has been a dedicated vote bank for the party.
Sources in the party told IANS that if the Chief Minister does not bring in some changes in the district committees and rope in more Muslims in the party committees, it would affect the trust the community has in the DMK.