DMK promises quota for Vanniyars if party comes to power in 2021
Vanniyar-dominant Pattali Makkal Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss slammed Stalin over the reservation promise and added that the DMK chief was attempting to hoodwink the community with an election gimmick.Updated: Oct 09, 2019 17:39 IST
Tamil Nadu’s opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M K Stalin has promised a quota for the dominant Other Backward Class (OBC) Vanniyar community within the 20% reservation for the Most Backward Classes (MBC) if his party returns to power in the state.
Dravidian parties such as the DMK and the ruling Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) vie for the support of OBC groups in Tamil Nadu, where 69% quota covers most communities. The OBC quota in the state is split into Backward Class (26.5%), Backward Class Muslim (3.5%) and MBC (20%) categories.
“If the DMK returns to power in the 2021 assembly elections, we would initiate appropriate legal measures to provide separate reservation out of the MBC quota for the Vanniyar community,” Stalin said at an election rally in the Vanniyar heartland of northern Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district on Tuesday.
An assembly bypoll, which has been necessitated because of DMK legislator K Rathamani’s death, to the Vikravandi seat in Villupuram is being held on October 21 along with that to Nanguneri in southern Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.
Both the AIADMK and the DMK have fielded Vanniyar candidates. In the 2016 assembly polls, the DMK won the Vikravandi seat by a margin of just 6,912 votes against the AIADMK.
Stalin also promised to build a memorial to late Vanniyar leader A G Govindasamy and those killed in the 1987 agitation to press for the demand for reservation for the community.
“It was during [late former chief minister and DMK leader] Karunanidhi government in 1989 that cases against those Vanniyars, who participated in the agitation, were withdrawn,’’ said Stalin.
Vanniyar-dominant Pattali Makkal Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss slammed Stalin over the reservation promise and added that the DMK chief was attempting to hoodwink the community with an election gimmick. “As the DMK is scared that it would lose its election deposit in the Vikravandi by-poll, the party is trying to keep the Vanniyars in good humour. But like after every election, the DMK will forget the promises it is making,” Ramadoss said.
PMK is an ally of the AIADMK.
Political analyst Aazhi Senthilnathan said that Stalin’s attempt to make inroads into the Vanniyar heartland has unsettled the PMK. “Stalin’s promise of a quota within quota for the OBC Vanniyars is a potent weapon that could undermine the social base of the PMK. It is only natural that Ramadoss is seething.”
First Published: Oct 09, 2019 17:38 IST