State of the States

Karunanidhi says DMK willing to support Congress

DMK chief M Karunanidhi with party leaders K Anbazhagan, TR Balu, A Raja and son MK Stalin releases his party's Manifesto for upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Chennai on Tuesday. PTI Photo


Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi on Wednesday said the DMK was willing to support the Congress, which has no ally in Tamil Nadu, if it swore to stop communal forces in the country.

Karunanidhi's party had severed ties with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre in 2013 owing to differences over protecting the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils.

With the general elections knocking at the doors, Karunanidhi said it was ready to forgive the Congress and its 'betrayal' in the interests of secularism and hinted at a post-poll arrangement with the Congress.

His announcement came during a campaign at Chintadripet, which falls under Chennai Central where his nephew and 2G scam-tainted Dayanidhi Maran is the DMK candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress has described the elections as a fight between secularism and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) 'communal perspective'. 

"If the Congress is can swear they will stop communal forces, the DMK is willing to forgive them and support them," Karunanidhi said, around a week after the BJP formed a six-party coalition in Tamil Nadu, which has 39 Lok Sabha seats.  

He, however, immediately clarified that the support was not for garnering votes.

"... (the support is) not to get votes now, but in the form of general amnesty to keep communal forces away at a later stage," Karunanidhi said, hinting at supporting the Congress in the post-poll scenario.

The Congress in Tamil Nadu has itself to blame for having no ally, Karunanidhi added. "It has been ungrateful to allies that had stood by it and betrayed them at crucial times."

With Maran in tow on the dais, Karunanidhi blamed the Congress for the 2G controversy. "To escape from 2G blame, they fixed Raja (ex-communication and information technology minister A Raja). Now, news is coming that Raja is blameless."

Forgetting the Congress' betrayal would be difficult, but the DMK is prepared to do that for the sake of protecting secularism, Karunanidhi added.

Union finance minister P Chidambaram had reached out to Karunanidhi last week and requested him to promise that the DMK would not support the BJP in the post-poll scenario.

Chidambaram had made the appeal while addressing a public meeting in Sivaganga, from where his son, Karti, is in the fray to be a part of the Lok Sabha for the first time.

The DMK and the Congress had contested the 2009 general elections in an alliance. While the Congress had won eight seats, the DMK had bagged 18.

 

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