The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagham on Tuesday expelled five of its MLAs and 10 district secretaries after they held a press conference asking party chief Vijayakanth to rethink the alliance with the People’s Welfare Front, reported CNN-IBN. This was after reports said the majority of DMDK cadre want the party to tie up with M Karunanidhi’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham for the polls scheduled to be held on May 16.

DMDK legislator Chandrakumar, who was among the 15 members who held the press conference, said they would not quit the party, but asked Vijayakanth to change alliances. He said, “A leader’s decisions should be respected by followers, no doubt. But a leader should also base his decision on what his cadre say.” He added that they firmly believed Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa should not return to power. The DMDK had allied with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for the 2011 state elections.

The News Minute reported Chandrakumar saying, “Three MLAs, seven district secretaries and party functionaries drafted a letter to Vijayakanth explaining the condition of the party, but he didn't respond to us.” He also claimed the alliance with PWF happened after the AIADMK pushed for it.

The PWF consists of four political parties – Vaiko's Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi. Vijayakanth is the front’s chief ministerial candidate. Several party members have joined the DMK and AIADMK in recent months, starting with eight DMDK MLAs in February who toppled the actor-turned-politician from his Leader of Opposition post.