The Congress has adopted a ``wait and watch’’ policy on the internecine battle within the Karunanidhi family, the DMK party and between the DMK and the PMK in Tamil Nadu over recent surveys rating the popularity of their leaders and Union Ministers from the state in order to identify Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s political heir.
``The strong reactions whipped up by the survey has only provided a glimpse of what can happen in the post-Karunanidhi scenario,’’ said a UPA leader. With the MDMK sitting alongwith the AIADMK in the state Assembly, Karunanidhi cannot afford to annoy allies like the PMK whose minister A Ramadoss figured low down in the popularity chart in the survey.
Congress leaders are mystified by the surveys that came a couple of days before the May 11 congregation of the UPA leaders in Chennai to congratulate Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for completing 50 years in the state Assembly. Prime Minster Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are among the leaders expected to be in Chennai on May 11. This will coincide with the announcement of the UP assembly results which, in turn, will influence the complexion of the electoral college for electing a new President and influence the choice of the nominee for the post.
The May 11 meeting is expected to be used by the UPA leaders to discuss the Presidential polls. Though every UPA constituent has maintained that the names will be discussed after the UP results are out, among the names that have started doing the rounds as possible nominees include that of Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee, Sushilkumar Shinde and Rajya Sabha MP Karan Singh, besides that of the two presiding officers of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. An RJD member has suggested former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu for the post.