A new round of bickering has started in the DMK fold even before the alliance has shaped up for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
Trouble began after Vaiko made a patronising statement about Dalits in response to a critique of VCK leader Vanniyarasu about Vaiko’s silence on Dravidian parties’ contribution to the uplift of the scheduled castes. Responding to the critique, Vaiko made a controversial statement in which he said the domestic help in his house was a Dalit and Thirumavalavan was shooting off Vanniyarasu’s shoulders.
An annoyed VCK chief responded in kind on Thursday by adding that he was not the kind of person, who would provoke others to criticise someone. A visibly upset Thirumavalavan even wondered if Vaiko’s anger was channelled towards Vanniyarasu or him.
The public sparring between the two probable allies has not gone down well with the DMK leadership. Sources in the DMK revealed that the mudslinging between the probable allies, especially the outburst of Vaiko has angered Stalin who had just eased the unrest caused by his treasurer Duraimurugan last week.
Stalin got his propaganda secretary and former union minister A Raja to issue an elaborate clarification on alliance issues following Duraimurugan’s loaded statement that “existing friends might leave the alliance and new friends might join.” It was widely rumoured that Duraimurugan had made the statement with PMK and VCK in mind. An outspoken Raja put off the heat generated by the statement by adding that past experiences have discouraged them from inviting PMK and DMDK for the all-party meeting on Mekadatu.
“We did not want to spoil our self-respect by inviting them,” Raja quipped, ruling out rapprochement with Ramadoss’s PMK and an obliterated DMDK, a statement believed to have been said with the sanction of Stalin, who has been daringly testing the waters ever since the national leaders came to his Cenotaph residence.
That he has been forced to control the damage even before an alliance has been cobbled up in the state has turned the task of Stalin and company restive, months ahead of the elections.