Tamil Nadu

DMK inks pact with VCK for six seats

The agreement was signed by DMK president M.K. Stalin and VCK president Thol. Thirumavalavan at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai

The agreement was signed by DMK president M.K. Stalin and VCK president Thol. Thirumavalavan at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai

The DMK on Thursday signed an agreement with the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), allotting it six seats. The stalemate over seat-sharing with the Congress continued, with the DMK not altering its offer of 18 seats and the national party not coming back for talks.

The CPI is likely to sign an agreement with the DMK for six seats on Friday. The CPI(M) and the MDMK are yet to reach an understanding with the DMK.

VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said, “Even though our party’s high-level committee expressed dissatisfaction with the allocation of six seats, we have taken into consideration the danger posed by the Sanatana forces. We do not want the secular votes to split. Our decision was shaped by far-sightedness and the future of Tamil Nadu politics.” The VCK will contest on its own symbol.

The ruling AIADMK is believed to have decided to leave Vijayakant’s DMDK out and finalise agreements with the BJP and the TMC (Moopanar) on Friday. Wednesday’s speech of DMDK deputy general secretary L.K. Sudhish, ridiculing the AIADMK, did not go down well with the ruling party leadership, a functionary said.

The number of reserved and general constituencies to be allotted to the VCK would be decided at the subsequent discussions with the DMK leadership, Mr. Thirumavalavan said.

While stressing the need for secular parties to stay together in the DMK alliance, he said the Left parties and the MDMK had the right to take a decision in their own interest.

‘It is a war’

“The election is a war to defeat the Sanatana forces. The BJP has targeted Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and hatched a conspiracy to get a toehold in the State and in the Union Territory. It is taking advantage of the absence of Jayalalithaa and Kalaignar [M. Karunanidhi]. Even after decades, it has not been able to take root in Tamil Nadu, while it could change governments and form governments on its own even in the northeastern States,” the VCK leader said.

Mr. Thirumavalavan said it was not clear whether Sasikala’s decision to “step aside” from politics was shaped by the need for “peace of mind” or the “pressure from the BJP” or her “intention to bring the AIADMK and the AMMK together”.

“She has said the DMK should not win. It means she is particular about the coming together of the AIADMK and the AMMK. If the AIADMK gains in strength, it means the BJP is also gaining in strength. It will not augur well for Tamil Nadu, the land of social justice,” he said.

CPI State secretary R. Mutharasan told journalists, “We had a cordial meeting. We will place the proposal at our party meeting for approval. The agreement will be signed tomorrow [Friday].”

Asked about the complications in the talks, he quipped, “Even in a marriage, consideration of a bride and a bride-groom will take place a few times.”

The CPI(M)’s secretariat will meet on March 6. General secretary Sitaram Yechury will be present. “We are yet to get a call for talks from the DMK. There is no change in the DMK’s offer of six seats, and it is not acceptable to us,” a party leader.

The second round of talks between the DMK and the MDMK remained inconclusive.

“There is no change in the offer made by the DMK, and it is not acceptable to us. We will inform our leader Vaiko, and as per his direction, we will hold the next round of talks,” deputy general secretary Mallai Sathya said.

He said the MDMK had presence from Gummidipoondi to Kanniyakumari, and the number of seats offered should match its strength. “We are working together with the DMK to fight the danger facing Tamil Nadu. Our objective is to enter the Assembly,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 8:50:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dmk-inks-pact-with-vck-for-six-seats/article33992957.ece