People's Welfare Front, comprising CPI(M), CPI and VCK, looks to be headed for a virtual split with the Marxist party announcing its candidate for the April 12 R K Nagar bypoll brushing aside the views of other constituents not to contest.
CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan said "difference of opinion," arose among the constituents of the PWF following which his party decided to contest the bypoll to take forward the goal of providing an alternative to people.
At a press meet here, he named R K Nagar functionary R Loganathan as his party nominee for the bypoll and sought support of CPI, VCK and all Left democratic forces.
Providing an "alternative" front to AIADMK, DMK, BJP and Congress was the "objective of PWF," and only on that basis his party decided to contest, Ramakrishnan said.
To repeated questions asking him if the PWF had split, he said, "it is our desire that PWF should continue."
He said consultations were held on the issue of whether PWF should fight the bypoll or not and differences arose among partners. "I am not ready to discuss the difference of opinion among allies before the media," he said.
While CPI is yet to comment, VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said, "PWF will continue as a coalition in struggle (to fight for people's issues) and as regards the electoral front, it is not so."
He downplayed claims of a break-up in PWF and said "there is no bitterness among us, this is only a byelection."
CPI and his party were not in favour of contesting the bypoll though CPI(M) was firm in its stand of fighting it, Thirumavalan said.
Asked if his party will support the CPI(M) nominee in the bypoll, he said his party's decision will be announced after the CPI took a call on the matter.
Last year, when VCK chief Thol Thirumvalavan showed eagerness to take part in an all party meeting convened by DMK working president M K Stalin on the Cauvery issue, it led to speculation.
Thirumavalavan wrote to Stalin welcoming his initiative and expressed inability to participate as other PWF allies were disinclined.
When high value notes were demonetised last year, MDMK chief Vaiko welcomed it while CPI, CPI(M) and VCK opposed. Following that, MDMK walked out of PWF.
Soon after last year's Assembly poll debacle, G K Vaasan's TMC and Vijayakanth-led DMDK snapped ties with PWF which was formed in 2015.