Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), led by president Thol Thirumavalavan, has insisted that it will contest the upcoming Assembly polls in the state on its own symbol. This is the second party from what is expected to be the DMK alliance to make such an announcement. Earlier, in October 2020, MDMK chief Vaiko, too, had stated that his party will contest on its own symbol to maintain individuality.
Thirumalavan confirmed the party's intention in Puducherry on Saturday when he was visiting Chief Minister V Narayanasamy. He had gone to personally extend New Year wishes to the Congress leader and to thank him for launching a scheme to sponsor the fees of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students, irrespective of the family's economic background.
During the Lok Sabha elections, VCK's Villupuram MP D Ravikumar, who contested on DMK ticket, had used the rising sun symbol to contest while Thirumavalavan had opted to use an independent symbol â€” a pot. And while Ravikumar won the election against rival PMK candidate Vadivel Ravanan by over 1 lakh votes, Thirumavalavan managed to snag victory with only a 3,000 vote difference. MDMK candidate Ganeshmurthi, meanwhile, also contested on the DMK's symbol.
In the past too, both parties have demanded they contest on their own symbols. They had chalked down the decision of the Parliamentary poll to election strategy.
According to The Hindu, smaller parties such as the VCK and MDMK seek to contest on their own symbols in order to gain recognition from the Election Commission. The parties have to poll a minimum percentage of votes in order to be recognised. In an alliance, the larger parties, however, seek to make the smaller parties contest on their symbols in order to ensure that the candidate is immediately recognisable and to prevent loss of votes due to unfamiliarity with the symbol. Moreover, if the alliance does not gain a majority, having the ally contest on their symbol allows for the larger party to control the MLAs of the smaller parties. The party's whip will be binding on the MLAs. Further, if VCK and MDMK candidates contested with the rising sun symbol, the election commission would record the wins as DMK victories.
Meanwhile, former DMK leader MK Alagiri has called for a meeting with his supporters in Madurai on Sunday, to discuss the possibility of starting a new party. This comes after he waited for months for word from the DMK, over his rejoining the party.
Sources close to the leader said that he will talk to his supporters to understand what kind of backing he will receive and if he can contest in the 2021 Assembly elections in the state. The meeting will be held between 4 pm and 7 pm on Sunday.