DMK-Congress rift blows over after TNCC prez Alagiri calls on Stalin

Updated on Jan 18, 2020 08:40 PM IST

A week-long war of words had pushed the Congress-DMK alliance in Tamil Nadu to the brink.

DMK President and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin urged both DMK and Congress leaders to exercise restraint.(ANI)
DMK President and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin urged both DMK and Congress leaders to exercise restraint.(ANI)
Hindustan Times, Chennai | ByMC Rajan

With the Congress going on the back foot to pacify the DMK, the rift between the two parties ended on Saturday.

After a week-long war of words that pushed the Congress-DMK alliance in Tamil Nadu to the brink, state Congress unit chief KS Alagiri walked the extra mile to meet DMK chief MK Stalin at the Dravidian party’s headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, to placate the senior partner.

Hours earlier, Puducherry Chief Minister and Congress veteran, V Narayanasamy paved the way for reconciliation by calling on Stalin.

Both Alagiri and Narayanasamy told the media that the relationship between the two parties was strong and could not be broken.

“We are aware of the threat to the nation from fascist forces and their pliant rulers in the state. The Congress is steadfast in its resolve to be with the DMK in defeating them. The alliance will continue for the 2021 assembly elections,” said Alagiri, emerging out of the meeting with Stalin.

In a statement, Stalin urged leaders of both the parties to be restrained and guard against providing an opportunity to those elements waiting to destroy the secular front.

“There have been a few unwanted happenings in the alliance after the rural civic polls, though our alliance has received the people’s manadate. Both the sides should not have discussed these things in the public. Let’s put a full stop and move ahead. Cunning and hungry foxes are waiting for an opportunity to disband the alliance. I urge functionaries of both the parties to refrain from discussing these issues in the public,” he said.

Ironically, it was Alagiri recent statement, accusing the DMK of violating the coalition dharma with impunity during seat allocation in the rural civic polls, which had triggered the wrath of the Dravidian major.

In retaliation, the DMK stayed away from the conclave of opposition parties convened by Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi to discuss the opposition against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) . Though DMK parliamentary party leader TR Baalu was in the national capital, he did not turn up for the event.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is said to have summoned Alagiri and reportedly gave him a dressing-down for risking the alliance with a trusted ally.

After meeting the Congress president, Alagiri had made conciliatory statements but they failed to assuage the DMK.

Countering Alagiri, DMK treasurer and party veteran Durai Murugan said, “The Congress is free to leave the alliance. We are not unduly worried about a party without a vote bank leaving the coalition.”

This received an instant reaction from Sivaganga MP, Karti Chidambaram. “Why did this wisdom not dawn upon Durai Murugan before the Vellore Lok Sabha bypoll?” he asked.

Karti’s insinuation was Durai Murugan’s son, Kathi Anand, the DMK candidate from Vellore, had scraped through by a slender margin of over 8141 votes, which was possible because of the Congress.

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