Just over a year after the People Welfare Front was formed in Tamil Nadu as an alternative to the Dravidian heavyweights, Vaiko’s MDMK, one of the founding parties, quit the alliance on Tuesday.
The PWF was floated on October 5 last year by the MDMK, the CPI, CPM and VCK ahead of the 2016 Assembly Elections in Tamil Nadu. It had fared very poorly in the 2016 polls.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai on Tuesday, MDMK Chief Vaiko said, “Under the chairmanship of party chairman, all members of top level committee held a meeting. We had a discussion analysing every issue and we have decided and adopted a resolution that MDMK is quitting the People’s Welfare Movement.” He, however, added that the comradeship and friendship with the Left parties and with the VCK would continue.
Ahead of the May polls, the PWF entered into an electoral alliance with GK Vasan’s TMC and the DMDK, projecting Vijayakant as the Chief Ministerial candidate. However, the six-party alliance was routed, with Vijayakant even losing his security deposit.
Cracks began to emerge in the PWF soon after the elections, with the DMDK and TMC walking out of the loosely-cobbled together alliance. While the PWF sat out of the November by-poll, with Vaiko not keen to contest, the final nail in the PWF coffin was their difference stance on demonetisation.
While Thirumavalavan’s VCK and the Left parties decided to organise a conference against demonetisation on December 28 at Puducherry, MDMK Chief and PWF convenor Vaiko hailed the Centre’s move, even meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on December 16.
“It is heartening that you have delivered a spectacular strategic strike through demonetization to eradicate corruption and eliminate black money," Vaiko told the PM, in a statement released to the media.
MDMK was earlier a part of the BJP’s rainbow alliance for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, Vaiko quit the alliance months after accusing the BJP of acting against Tamils.