MDMK leader Vaiko withdraws from TN poll fray

Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu Apr 25 (UNI) In a surprising turn of events, People's Welfare Front (PWF) coordinator and MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today announced that he would not be contesting the May 16 Assembly polls and blamed the DMK for his decision to withdraw from the contest.
Earlier, Mr Vaiko had said he would be contesting from the Kovilpatti assembly constituency and that he would file his nomination papers today.

Though he came to the Kovilpatti Revenue Divisional Office, he did not file his nomination papers.
Instead party’s Tuticorin District Youth Wing Secretary Vinayaka G Ramesh filed the papers before S Kannabiran, Kovilpatti Revenue Divisional Officer and Returning Officer.

Though everyone thought that he was filing as a dummy candidate, Mr Vaiko, later sprang a surprise, by announcing that Ramesh was in fact the official candidate of the party for the Kovilpatti seat and that he was withdrawing from the fray.

He said he would strive for the victory of the candidates of the PWF (which also contained CPI, CPI-M and VCK), DMDK and the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) in the polls.
Addressing the media, Mr.Vaiko alleged that the DMK has planned to trigger “caste clashes” at Kovilpatti.
He claimed that the DMK was using the caste as a tool to set off the clashes.

Elaborating, he said the DMK was propagating that he (Vaiko) belonged to a particular caste, even though he was beyond caste and religious considerations.
He accused the DMK of instigating caste-divide among the people to turn them against him.

He also cited an incident at Vadakku Thittankulam in Kovilpatti last evening when a group, claiming to be from Thevar community, attempted to prevent him (Vaiko) from garlanding the statue of freedom fighter Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar for allegedly speaking ill of the Thevar community in connection with the recent honour killing incident at Udumalpet in Tiruppur.
“I have dedicated myself to the causes of communal harmony, caste-clash free State, total prohibition, corruption-free governance in the State.

This being my stand, I would not like to be responsible for any situation that would affect peace and communal harmony among the people'', he said. ''Hence, I have decided to withdraw from election.
The decision was taken after holding extensive consultations with senior party leaders,” he said.
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