VCK aspires to venture beyond Tamil Nadu

Leftist movement in southern States has diluted over the years, say its leaders

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi founder Thol. Thirumavalavan on Sunday unveiled a statue of Dr. Ambedkar’s in Kanigiri, Ongole district, Andhra Pradesh. The move is seen as an effort to take his party beyond Tamil Nadu.

Party leaders said the VCK was seeking to venture into southern States where it felt the Leftist movement that had articulated the aspirations of Dalit people “diluted” over the years.

According to VCK general secretary and Kattumannarkoil MLA Sinthanai Selvan, the party has presence in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana too.

“Except in Munnar district, we do not have a presence in Kerala. But, in Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, we have a presence and we have contested local body elections and supported other parties there,” he said. In his view, former cadres of the Leftist movement, which has had a strong support from the Dalit and other disadvantaged communities, “are now seeing VCK as an alternative”, apart from the Congress party. “The Congress gets a lot of support from the Dalits in these States as they raise Dalit issues. But, even they dilute the issues some times. So there is now a need for a strong Dalit party in these States. We are aspiring to be that voice,” said Mr. Selvan.

Asked how a party that strongly reiterates the idea of Tamil nationalism can reach out to people who speak another language, Mr. Selvan contended, “Our Tamil nationalism is not based on a person’s DNA. It is about reiterating federal rights and regional aspiration within India.”

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