Lok Sabha 2019
GK Vasan, the leader of the Tamil Manila Congress said that the party had quit the Indian National Congress combine four years ago and had grown distant from it.
Wikimedia Commons/ Mohamed Ashik/ CCBYSA4.0

A day after his party was granted one seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections under the AIADMK-BJP combine in Tamil Nadu, Tamil Manila Congress (TMC) chief GK Vasan met the press on Thursday in an attempt to justify the decision. Continuously repeating the message that the alliance was in keeping with the mood of the people and the unity and harmony of India, Vasan said that the decision was taken in consultation with the cadre. He also revealed that the party has been allotted the Thanjavur parliamentary constituency.

When asked about the glaring ideological mismatch in the stated principles of the TMC and the BJP, Vasan said that he had grown distant from the Indian National Congress (with which its shares its ideals), having quit it four years ago.

"It is 2019. When we think of the parliamentary elections, the stance of the TMC cadre and leader is as per the Tamil people and the Indian people. The people consider the nation, its unity and harmony and the Congress party's unstable politics. That's the basis for our decision. The TMC left the Indian National Congress alliance four years ago. We are conducting the TMC individualistically in Tamil Nadu. I have repeatedly registered in public meetings and with the media that having quit the Congress, I have grown distant from it." he said.

The TMC was first founded in 1996 by Vasan’s father GK Moopanar. With secularism and pluralism as its core philosophies, the TMC had refused to support the then BJP government in 1999 in a trust vote. The party under Vasan then went on to be merged with Congress in 2002. Twelve years later, Vasan walked out of the Congress alliance, and relaunched the TMC.

In a hint of the underlying political infighting, Vasan remarked that the TMC did not figure in the Congress alliance in the RK Nagar bye-polls held in December 2017. Invoking the governance of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Kamaraj as the one to aspire to, GK Vasan commented, "Elections and alliance are different from the party's goals."

He also added that the alliance was important for the security of the nation, considering the welfare of the people.

The TMC, which has been allotted Thanjavur, ruled out contesting on the AIADMK symbol.

The last party to join the alliance, the combine now has a total of six parties including the AIADMK, the BJP, the PMK, the DMDK, Puthiya Tamilagam, and the New Justice Party.