Tamil Nadu 2016

Vaiko springs a surprise, says he will not contest polls

MDMK candidate Vinayaka Ramesh filing his nomination papers to contest from Kovilpatti constituency to Returning Officer S.Kannabiran on Monday. MDMK general secretary Vaiko is at the right. Photo : N.Rajesh   | Photo Credit: N_RAJESH

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary and People’s Welfare Front coordinator Vaiko on Monday decided not to contest from the Kovilpatti Assembly Constituency.

Cadres of the MDMK and the DMDK-PWF combine were taken aback following the announcement of Mr. Vaiko. He made the decision just ahead of the time for filing of nomination before the Kovilpatti Sub Collector and Returning Officer, S. Kannabiran.

District youth wing secretary of the MDMK G. Ramesh filed his nomination instead of Mr. Vaiko. Earlier, the party had chosen him to be the dummy candidate for Mr. Vaiko.

Caste-based differences had been prevailing in Kovilpatti as a group of people claimed that Mr. Vaiko spoke ill of the Thevar community relating to the brutal killing of Dalit youth Sankar in Udumalpet.

The killing occurred after the inter-caste marriage of Sankar and Kausalya.

Meanwhile, 50 persons belonging to the Akila Indhiya Thevar Ina Makkal Kootamaippu courted arrest in Kovilpatti after staging a protest against Mr. Vaiko.

On Sunday, when Mr. Vaiko was campaigning at Vadakku Thittankulam in Kovilpatti, unrest prevailed for sometime as a >group of people attempted to prevent him from garlanding THE Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar statue. He, however, garlanded the statue after police personnel dispersed the crowd.

On March 30, 34 members of the Kootamaippu courted arrest in Kovilpatti while staging a black flag protest against Mr. Vaiko. K. Annadurai, founder president of the Kootamaippu, who led the agitation in front of the Thevar statue near Travellers’ Bungalow, said Mr. Vaiko incited caste conflict by referring to the murder of Sankar.

After Mr. Ramesh filed his nomination, Mr. Vaiko condemned the DMK leadership for not "reprimanding" its Kovilpatti candidate. The DMK was deliberately involved in inciting caste conflicts and he would not contest the polls from Kovilpatti. Apart from caste, Pasumpon Muthuramlinga Thevar was revered as a legendary personality in the freedom movement and he always had respect for him, he said.

PTI adds:

Mr. Vaiko alleged there was a “plan” was to “create violence” between the “Thevar and Naicker communities” in the constituency.

He said the violence, according to the plan, “would be centred around him”, a remark seen as an implied reference to his Naicker caste.

Naming the DMK, he said, “I also came to know that the district secretaries [of Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar] of the party encouraged the violence idea and I was terribly grieved. My heart swirls in pain and I shudder to even think of caste violence targeting me. Against this background, since I realise that communal rage will ruin the future of Tamil Nadu, I have decided not to contest in the Assembly elections.”

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 6:12:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamilnadu2016/tn-assembly-polls-mdmk-general-secretary-vaiko-not-to-contest-from-kovilpatti/article8519712.ece

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