MDMK in political crisis: Vaiko's son Durai Vaiyapuri comes in...And, a top leader of the party goes out!

Tamil Nadu's Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), which observes an alliance with the state ruling DMK, has on Wednesday made a major overhaul in the party, which caught huge attention from across and beyond the state with a notion that the party has now got placed in the store of heir politics. The party's founder Vaiko, who had strongly opposed heir politics on several occasions, has now paved the way for it by maintaining that the overhaul is not dynasty politics. 

On Wednesday, Vaiko's son Durai Vaiyapuri has been appointed as the headquarters secretary of the MDMK. Though the party had welcomed the appointment, it had invited flak from across the state and become the talking point for the opposition. Durai Vaiyapuri's induction into the party was already expected when he campaigned for the party and the DMK during the 2021 assembly polls and several district units of the MDMK had passed a resolution to bring him to the party as Vaiko was not as active as he was before. Several talks and deliberations were carried out within the party as Vaiko has sternly maintained that he did not want his son to enter politics. 

Vaiko had been against heir politics, but when the party units had adopted resolutions to bring Vaiyapuri into the party and award him a role, the 77-year-old veteran politician had decided to give the baton to his son. On Wednesday, 49-year-old Durai Vaiyapuri was appointed as the headquarters secretary of the party. While addressing the media concerning his son's appointment, Vaiko said, "I could have directly appointed him. But, I had conducted secret voting to make it a democratic process. He got 104 votes out of 106. This is not dynasty politics but the cadres had insisted." 

On the other hand, Vaiko affirmed that he is not out of politics and said there is no rest for him in politics till his death. He said that Durai Vaiyapuri has been appointed as the MDMK's headquarters secretary based on the wish of the cadres and Vaiyapuri has all the traits for public service. "I am still young and I play volleyball even today. I have no rest from politics till my death", Vaiko added. He further said that he had suffered a lot during his political tenure and that he wanted to end the suffering with him and added that the party leaders and cadres have to decide his son's future in the party. 

Though Vaiko has been facing criticism for compromising his stand of not bringing his son into politics, the MDMK has said that Durai Vaiyapuri's appointment was not Vaiko's decision but it was made based on the decision of the party secretaries. A news agency has quoted a party leader saying that nearly 25 district party units had adopted a resolution, demanding Vaiko to provide an important post to Durai Vaiyapuri so that he can take the party to new heights. 

Vaiyapuri is an MBA graduate and has been one of the star campaigners of the party. He is running a construction company and affirmed that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is his inspiration. Though the party denied dynasty politics, the political observers say that Vaiyapuri will face more ordeals to become the political heir of Vaiko, whom the nation knows as a strong orator, a staunch fighter, an able parliamentarian, and a leader who observes relationships with several national leaders. On the other hand, while the party has welcomed Vaiyapuri's appointment, his entry has torched a fresh political crisis in the MDMK as a top leader has exited the party on Thursday - October 21. 

According to reports, MDMK's youth-wing secretary Eswaran has quitted the party on Thursday, within 24 hours of Durai Vaiyapuri's appointment. The shocking development had stirred a furore within the party and Eswaran said that he can't do what he desires to do while in the party. He has now decided to launch his own outfit following his exit from MDMK. In a statement, he said, "I have worked for Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam by sacrificing my life for the past 28 years. I have fulfilled the orders from the party and I have been battling legally to resolve the issues faced by the people. I have outstandingly served the posts of district secretary and youth-wing secretary of the party. " 

Eswaran has expressed his gratitude to the party cadres for supporting him and added that he had never got benefitted personally by using his political sources. He said, "Several events in politics and society had angered me. When I think of changing and resolving all these, I can't able to do it by being in a political party. It is neither good for me nor for the party if I continue working with the party when there are contradictions between the party's general mind pattern and my work. To continue my service to the people, there is a need for an outfit. So, I have decided to start 'Marumalarchi Makkal Iyakkam'. It is not a political party but it will help in cleaning politics." 

    File photo: A collage of Vaiko (L) and his son Durai Vaiyapuri


Eswaran's exit from the party within 24 hours of Durai Vaiyapuri's induction has signalled the start of political war in the MDMK, amid the beginning of a new era. MDMK hasn't been successful in the past few elections and more light of furore at the high time of reviving the party has stirred a question about the future of the party under this new era. Vaiko had founded MDMK in 1994 and established anti-heir politics as one of his key slogans. He launched the party after a drift from the DMK and Vaiko had voiced against the then DMK President M Karunanidhi against the latter's efforts to promote his son MK Stalin as his political heir. However, Vaiko himself had eventually welcomed his son into the party by breaking its fortress of 'anti-dynasty'.