TN urban body polls: DMK allies miffed over ‘unilateral’ selection of party candidates


Even as the political parties in Tamil Nadu are busy preparing for the upcoming urban local body elections, the alliance partners of the DMK are unhappy over its “big brother” attitude on seat sharing.

The Congress has already raised concern with the state DMK leadership after several district secretaries of the DMK conducted interviews of party leaders who are tipped to become candidates in the polls. The Congress has voiced the party’s displeasure in this regard to the DMK organising secretary R.S. Bharathi with the TNCC president K.S. Alagiri himself raising the matter.

Sources in the Congress party told IANS said that the DMK has already conducted unilateral interviews of its party leaders in many districts. The Congress is sure that this would lead to seats like SC/ST reservation, women reservation and those where the DMK have not got suitable candidates will be open for alliance partners.

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), another alliance partner of the DMK, has also spoken to the DMK leadership regarding the unilateral selection of party candidates. VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan MP has already communicated to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin regarding these unilateral interviews carried out by the DMK district secretaries.

VCK leadership told IANS that the Chief Minister was all ears to the concern raised and that they are sure of getting justice. The VCK is a powerful political party with roots among the Dalit communities and hence the possibility of the DMK heeding the suggestions and complaints of the VCK is high. While the SC/ST reserved seats may be provided to the VCK, there is a sizeable Dalit vote bank in seats that does not fall under the reserved category and hence the opposition raised by the VCK will be clearly taken up seriously by the DMK.

The CPI and CPM have also aired their grievances to the DMK leadership on the party district secretaries conducting interviews to finalise candidates. A senior leader of the CPI who does not want to be named while speaking to IANS said: “The DMK has all the right to conduct interviews of their probable candidates but they should inform us about the seats to be allocated to us in the Urban polls. If things go like this, we may have to wait till the last moment to know about our seats which are not good in coalition politics.”

Sources in the DMK, however, dismissed the claims of both the left parties and the Congress saying that only VCK deserves a semblance of respect as others don’ have any grassroots’ support in the state.

A senior DMK leader while speaking to IANS said: “What is the locus standi of Congress and that of the left parties? they don’t have anything substantial at the ground. The VCK has something on the ground and the grievances they raise can be considered seriously. As far as we are concerned, we will stick to the coalition dharma and we don’t have any issues sharing seats with Congress, left parties, and the VCK but they should not try and dictate terms with a political party that has a grassroot following.”



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