Vaiko, the People’s Welfare Front–DMDK combine convenor and MDMK general secretary, pulled out of electoral fray on Monday, a decision that was immediately pounced upon by the DMK that said he was scared of losing elections for the third time.
Vaiko had lost two successive Lok Sabha elections from Viridunagar constituency and hence was a trifle reluctant to contest from Kovilpatti, from where his candidature was announced earlier.
A DMK leader on condition of anonymity said Vaiko was afraid of losing the elections, especially after a caste-based organisation opposed his candidature from the constituency.
Workers of the MDMK and the DMDK-PWF combine were taken aback after Vaiko announced his refusal to contest the polls, minutes before he was to file his nomination before the Kovilpatti sub-collector and returning officer, S Kannabiran.
District youth wing secretary of the MDMK G Ramesh filed his nomination instead of Vaiko.
Caste-based differences is prevailing in Tamil Nadu’s Kovilpatti as a group of people claimed that Vaiko spoke ill of the Thevar community over the brutal killing of Dalit youth Sankar in Udumalpet.
Kausalya of the Thevar community had married Shankar, who was killed in broad daylight by machete wielding youth. The father and mother of the girl have been arrested for what is termed as a honour killing.
Protests from Akila Indhiya Thevar Ina Makkal Kootamaippu, a caste-based organisation, continued against Vaiko.
K Annadurai, founder president of the Kootamaippu, blamed Vaiko for naming the caste and inciting tension.
Meanwhile, VCK leader Thol Tirumavalanan appealed to Vaiko to reconsider his decision.