Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan on Tuesday clarified that he was comfortable in the company of the DMK and had no reason to believe that the Dravidian party was making efforts to bring the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) into its alliance.
He dismissed as “baseless” reports that the relationship between the DMK and VCK was strained in the wake of the Marakkanam riots and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi’s demand for the release of PMK leader S. Ramadoss, now a hardcore critic of Dalits and the VCK.
“I find nothing wrong in the DMK expressing its views against the State government and demanding the release of a political party leader,” Mr Thirumavalavan told The Hindu.
Ever since the ruling AIADMK initiated stringent action against PMK leaders and arrested many of them, including Dr Ramadoss and his son Anbumani in the wake of the Marakkanam violence, there is a view that the ruling party could win over the VCK.
But Chief Minister Jayalalithaa herself rubbished such reports on the floor of the Assembly while making a statement on the violence.
Mr Thirumavalavan did not agree with the view that Mr Karunanidhi had not adequately condemned Dr Ramadoss for his hate-campaign against Dalits and the VCK.
“We must also keep in mind that Mr Karunanidhi urged Dr Ramadoss to behave in a restrained manner and should not indulge in tongue-lashing (naavadakkam vendum). What else do you want him to do?” Mr Thirumavalavan said.
He said when he met Mr Karunanidhi to inform him about his move to mobilise leaders of all political parties against the PMK’s campaign against the Dalits, particularly against his party, the DMK leader appreciated his efforts.
He said he was in touch with senior DMK leaders, including M.K. Stalin, and did not get the slightest inkling that the DMK was keen on roping in PMK in its fold.
The second priority, he said, was to ensure amity between the oppressed Dalits and poor Vanniyars.