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Karunanidhi's goodbye to Congress?

delhi Updated: Mar 11, 2013 01:57 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
Shekhar Iyer

DMK chief M Karunanidhi's tough stand to force Indian government to vote for a US-sponsored resolution before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 22 may be more than just to make Colombo accountable for war crimes and deliver on its promise on devolution of powers to Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Karunanidhi could be preparing the DMK to move away from the Congress in Tamil Nadu when the Lok Sabha polls will be held next year, DMK and Congress sources say.

They believe "Kalaignar" has an eye on maximising his party's tally of Lok Sabha seats, by, preferably contesting as many constituencies as possible. Also, he's not hopeful about the DMK-Congress alliance being able to cause a big dent in the AIADMK's standing ever since Jayalalithaa led her party to win the state polls in 2011.

In 2009, the DMK won 18 seats and the Congress 8 of the 16 seats it contested. Now, Karunanidhi is not willing to let the Congress contest so many seats in 2014. He would rather prefer that the DMK contest nearly all the 39 seats so that it wins at least 10 to 15 seats on its own, TN Congress officials said.

Also, as DMK officials say, the Congress isn't in great shape in TN owing to the image of the UPA government, which may not be help Karunanidhi either. Jayalalithaa is bound to make the Centre's "failures" and the DMK's role as its biggest ally as her election plank.

AIADMK leaders say Karunanidhi is also worried by the criticism that the DMK had failed to take any constructive measures when the war against the Tamil Tigers was at its peak in 2009, when it was in power in Tamil Nadu. At that time, the DMK depended on 35 Congress MLAs for its survival.

Hitherto, Karunanidhi's concerns have been dictated by the progress of investigation into the case, which his daughter, Kanimozhi, is a co-accused along with ex-telecom minister A Raja.

But, of late, the DMK chief has queered the pitch for the UPA on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. He has called a general strike in the state on March 12 to urge the Centre to support the anti-Sri Lanka resolution.

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