Four political parties in Tamil Nadu — Vaiko’s MDMK, Dalit leader Thol Thirumavalavan’s VCK, CPI and CPM — have finalised the plan to form a third front called the People’s Welfare Front (PWF). The group, which is yet to make a formal announcement about the alliance, has decided to come out with a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) by October 23.
Leaders of all four parties met at Tiruvarur on Monday. After the meeting, Vaiko, the coordinator of the group, said the draft and political stand of the team will be revealed on October 23.
But this move hasn’t gone down well with a section of CPI leaders and the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), a Muslim political party. Both want to keep good ties with the ruling party, AIADMK. While MMK quit PWF ahead of its formation, CPI is facing a crisis with veteran leader D Pandian openly against breaking the ties with AIADMK.
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Veteran CPI leader Pandian, 83, who is known to be close to Jayalalithaa, said that he has to act as a ‘dumb witness’ when the decisions are taken by CPI central leadership. “This is exactly what they (central leadership) tried in Bihar, and now in Tamil Nadu. If I criticise the decision to float a weak alliance, they would say that I am violating the party stand. But the fact is that more than 50 per cent of the state unit is against joining PWF,” he said.
The MMK is almost facing a vertical split after its top leader M H Jawahirullah opposed the plan to join PWF and pushed for an alliance with the AIADMK. While Jawahirullah announced the decision to remain in the AIADMK alliance, party general secretary Thamin Ansari, who attended the PWF public meeting, came out strongly criticising Jawahirullah. Ansari was reportedly removed from the party post on Tuesday.