People's Welfare front on the verge of split over host of tricky issues

The principal opposition party DMK's all-party meet on October 26 in the eve of bypoll made more rift among the constituents in PWF.


The unity of People’s Welfare Front (PWF), an alliance of MDMK, VCK, CPI and CPI(M) is getting weakened since it's allies are going in different direction on the approach to bypoll and Cauvery water issue. The latest development in this regard is, VCK openely declared its support to Pondicherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who is contesting in the Nellithope bypoll. The election would be held on November 19 along with three assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu -- Aravakurichi, Thanjavur and Thirupparankundram.

First in the row of difference was, VCK (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi) boycotted the by-poll to the three assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, without consulting the PWF. CPI also had decided to boycott the election but said “ Would go by the collective decision of the PWF”. Failing to have consensus in the alliance and having no other way, CPI(M) also forced to boycott the by-elections.

The principal opposition party DMK's all-party meet on October 26 in the eve of bypoll made more rift among the constituents in PWF.

PWF had stated, they were not attending the DMK's all-party meeting since the bypoll is around the corner. "We felt that the timing for all-party meeting was not right since this is a nomination filing time to the three assembly seats. It may give a wrong impression to public " The PWF leaders had said.

At the same time, VCK had a different opinion from it's allies. Majority in the VCK party office bearers' meeting opined to attend DMK's all party meet but decided that the party president would take the final decision, taking into consideration of the current political situation in Tamil Nadu. "Solidarity of political parties on this issue wasn’t possible. We didn’t want to create a crisis in PWF. Still we wanted to communicate that the VCK welcomes the DMK’s move" VCK President Thirumavalavan said in an interview.

VCK had send a letter to DMK leader MK Stalin lending their support on Cauvery issue. The letter stated " It is the wish of VCK to take part in the meeting but we have to take a decision based on the majority opinion of the PWF. Therefore unable to attend the meet".

Fissures in the four-party coalition PWF widened again on October 31, when a delegation led by VCK general secretary D Ravikumar reached at Puducherry Congress Office and met Congress state President A Namasivayam. The delegation handed over a formal letter which assert their support in the November 19 bypoll.

Ravikumar justified the support offered to Congress saying that, it was done to safeguard the secularism . “VCK wants to strengthen the secular forces. The communal forces are trying hard to interfere in Puducherry. The BJP government at the Centre is trying to establish its presence in Puducherry” said Ravikumar. He said the alliance is only in Tamil Nadu and the political situation in Pondicherry is different.

The left parties are not happy with the VCK's decision in Pondichery. CPI (M) leader and Rajya Sabha MP TK Rangarajan told in an interview that " VCK goes against the stated position of PWF. The idea of PWF itslef is not to have any truck with Congress, BJP, AIADMK and DMK,”

In-between all these, media reported that MDMK leader Vaiko will be removed from the post of coalition convener of PWF.

PWF formed ahead of the May 2016 assembly election, as an alternate politics to the ruling party AIADMK and the principal opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu. DMDK, another prominent political outfit in the state lead by the actor "captain" Vijayakanth was with the PWF till the May 2016 election. But they parted from the alliance last month ahead of the local body election.