MDMK may opt out of NDA

District secretaries to discuss the issue on December 8

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:17 pm IST

Published - December 01, 2014 01:21 am IST - CHENNAI:

MDMK volunteers being arrested as theyattempted to lay siege to BJP leaderH. Raja’s house in Karaikudi on Sunday.

MDMK volunteers being arrested as theyattempted to lay siege to BJP leaderH. Raja’s house in Karaikudi on Sunday.

The MDMK, led by Vaiko, is likely to reconsider its continuation in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at a meeting of the district secretaries in Chennai on December 8.

The tension between the two parties reached a feverish pitch over the week following the scathing criticism MDMK general secretary Vaiko mounted on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policy towards Sri Lanka at a public meeting here.

Mr. Vaiko was then asked by BJP leader H. Raja to uphold “alliance dharma” and not to indulge in criticism of the Modi government. If not, Mr. Raja warned, BJP workers knew how to put an end to such behaviour.

The pressure built up further after the former Union Minister, Subramanian Swamy, through a tweet, asked the MDMK to read the writing on the wall and leave the alliance on its own. Otherwise, the party would be thrown out, he said.

Unfazed, Mr. Vaiko, in a statement on Sunday, charged the BJP with taking orders from the RSS and attempting to saffronise the country’s education system.

Dismissing the comments of Dr. Swamy and Mr. Raja as a “publicity stunt,” he wanted to know whether the head of the BJP was Amit Shah or Dr. Swamy.

The Tamil nationalist groups have also come out in support of Mr. Vaiko.

Tamilar Vaazhurimai Kootamaippu convener Panruti T. Velmurugan said the BJP leader would face protests if he continued making such remarks.

The strain in the MDMK-BJP ties accentuated even as there was speculation on a new front comprising the Tamil Maanila Congress of G.K Vasan, the MDMK, the DMDK and the VCK. But sources in the DMDK said any such plan had to wait for the party leader Vijayakant to return to India.

“We will take stock of the alliance at the meeting of district secretaries. But the mood in the party is not very positive about the BJP after Mr. Raja’s remarks,” an MDMK leader said.

Vaiko steps up attack

Meanwhile, Mr. Vaiko intensified his tirade against Mr. Modi and the BJP leadership for their open support to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking to reporters at Nagercoil on Sunday, Mr. Vaiko condemned Mr. Modi for his speech — favouring re-election of Mr. Rajapaksa for a third term — in an international forum like the SAARC summit. “By doing so, Mr. Modi has exceeded his diplomatic limits,” Mr. Vaiko said.

It’s time to take a call on the MDMK’s continuation in the BJP-led alliance in light of Mr. Vaiko’s continued criticism of Mr. Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Mr. Raja said at Kumbakonam.

In Chennai, DMK president M. Karunanidhi criticised Mr. Modi for wishing Mr. Rajapaksa success in the presidential elections. “That Mr. Rajapaksa is an accused in ethnic cleansing and his involvement is discussed even at the U.N. Other political parties also have condemned his involvement. Supporting him to occupy the presidency once again is like giving prominence to the portrait of a person convicted in a corruption case,” he said.

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