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Before local body polls in Tamil Nadu, differences crop up between DMK, Cong

It is significant to note that in the recent LS polls, Congress won the second highest number of Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu after Kerala in alliance with the DMK.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2019 22:55 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu,DMK,Congress
Other allies of the DMK have urged party chief Stalin to ignore rebel voices inside the party.(PTI PHOTO)

A month after the Lok Sabha polls concluded, in which the DMK-led UPA won 37 of the 38 seats that went to polls in Tamil Nadu, differences have emerged between partners Congress and the DMK ahead of local body polls scheduled for the end of August.

It is significant to note that in the recent LS polls, Congress won the second highest number of Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu after Kerala in alliance with the DMK.

Differences cropped up between the two as DMK’s heavyweight and party’s Trichy district secretary KN Nehru on Saturday urged his party high command to not enter into a pre-poll alliance with the Congress party for the local body polls. Nehru said, “Even as the DMK has been supporting Congress, a few Congress leaders are criticising us. We cannot tolerate this anymore. How long should the DMK be a palanquin bearer for the Congress party? If we want to serve the people better, DMK should contest alone in the upcoming local body polls,” he lashed out at the Congress.

Nehru also alleged that two Congress leaders (without mentioning their names) have been disparaging the DMK and one Congress leader has claimed that he has won on his own accord without the help of DMK and another one claimed that he will snatch 35 out of 200 corporation wards in Chennai South district from the DMK. Nehru also alleged, “After giving the majority of seats to Congress, where should the DMK go?”

South Chennai district Congress President Karate Thiyagarajan observed that this misunderstanding happened because TNCC president Su Thirunavukkarasar told the press that he won the Tiruchirappalli LS seat with the support of Congress workers alone and DMK had no part in it. He also stated that it was Thirunavukkarasar’s personal views.

Thiyagarajan said, “All the Congress MPs are clearly aware that they have won with the support of DMK. However, Thirunavukkarasar’s statement has upset DMK. The DMK should continue its alliance with the Congress for the upcoming local body polls.”

Thiyagarajan, a former Chennai Corporation Mayor (in-charge) also added, “The DMK and Congress have won elections after a long time in TN. This is only because of the alliance and no one has carried a palanquin for anyone.”

Reacting to the above statement, Trichy MP Thirunavukkarasar has slammed his party man Thiyagarajan. “I don’t want to enter into Nehru’s statement as it is the responsibility of the Congress high command. However, I condemn Thiyagarajan for alleging fake charges against me. I did not say that I have won only with the support of Congress workers. I said many non-Congress and non-DMK workers too voted for me,” said Thirunavukkrasar clearing the air.

As Nehru’s statement has created a rift in the alliance, Chidambaram LS seat MP and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK – an ally of DMK) chief Thol Thirumalavan has urged DMK leader Stalin to ignore such rebel voices inside the party. “As BJP has emerged as the single largest party in Parliament, this is a crucial time for opposition. I hope Stalin will take a good decision in contesting the LB polls with the same alliance, which went for LS polls in TN,” Thirumavalavan said.

Since then Nehru has done a volte-face as it was widely interpreted that a big fissure has occurred in the DMK - Congress alliance. Nehru on Sunday retracted his statement saying that he was not against the Congress alliance. “I expressed my views that DMK should contest in more seats in the LB polls. As a district secretary, I will obey the decisions of our party leader,” Nehru said.

It is again significant to note that DMK’s recent entrant and Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin was the first one to reiterate that DMK should contest in more numbers of seats in Trichy. According to political analysts, Nehru’s statement should be a strategy of DMK that is to give the least numbers of seats to Congress.

“I don’t think that the DMK-Congress alliance will come to an end soon. Since DMK and Congress high commands have a cordial relationship, there will not be any tussle in the alliance. However, after Udhayanidhi, Nehru also said that DMK should contest in a higher number of seats. The strategy of the DMK should be to allocate the minimum number of seats to Congress,” Azhi Senthilnathan, a noted political analyst in Chennai said.

First Published: Jun 23, 2019 22:55 IST

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