RS nomination: Life comes full circle for Vaiko

Last Updated 06 March 2019, 07:36 IST

Life will turn a full circle for MDMK chief Vaiko, known for his fiery speech, this July when, in all probability, he will re-enter Rajya Sabha after a gap of 22 years, courtesy M K Stalin, the very person who was the prime reason for his ouster from the DMK in 1993.

From opposing Stalin’s rising stature and launching his own outfit, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, swinging like a pendulum between the Dravidian majors and a short courtship with the Left and other parties that culminated in a failure a few years ago, Vaiko finally ended up where he began his political career.

Having realised well that his political fortunes have plunged deep low and his MDMK being reduced to a marginal player, Vaiko buried the decades-long hatchet with Stalin and proposed him as the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu even when the legendary M Karunanidhi was alive. On Tuesday, Stalin promised the “return gift” with much love – the DMK announced that the party will support Vaiko’s candidature for the biennial polls to Rajya Sabha due in July.

What was evident on Tuesday when the seat-sharing arrangement was signed between DMK and MDMK was the dramatic fall of Vaiko’s party – it was allotted just one seat against the four it got in 2004 and 2009 under DMK-led alliance and AIADMK combine respectively.

It will be a homecoming for Vaiko when he re-enters Rajya Sabha – he was a member of the Upper House for 18 years from 1978 to 1996 and had also been elected to Lok Sabha in 1998 and 1999. The firebrand speaker shot into limelight after his protests against the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s visit to Tamil Nadu at the height of Emergency in 1976 and was chosen by Karunanidhi as one of DMK’s nominees to the Rajya Sabha in 1978.

Known for his fiery speech and love for Tamil literature, Vaiko drew the attention of the ruling dispensations through his speeches in the Upper House and became a sensation among DMK cadres which irked Karunanidhi who was grooming Stalin to be his political heir. As Vaiko’s stock rose in the party, he was expelled and forced to launch his own outfit which was a hit in the beginning but lost full steam in the coming years.

Over the years, Vaiko became a liability for the alliance of which his party was a constituent due to his constant shifting of sides and controversial statements. He was arrested under POTA in 2002 by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, but he joined her party, the AIADMK, in 2006 and stayed with it till 2011 when he was shown the door.

From then, Vaiko’s various experiments – shaking hands with BJP and rallying all other small outfits including the Left – failed, forcing him to back the very person he opposed at the prime of his career in politics.

(Published 06 March 2019, 03:36 IST)

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