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DMK to continue ties with Congress for Lok Sabha polls, dispels talk of joining ‘third front’

DMK working president MK Stalin had earlier extended his support to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in her fight to protect the federal structure and autonomy of states.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2018 22:12 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
DMK,Stalin,Third front
DMK chief M Karunanidhi (in yellow) with party working president MK Stalin on his 95th birthday in Chennai on June 3, 2018. (PTI)

Putting an end to speculation about it becoming part of a so-called third front for the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) has categorically declared that it will continue its ties with the Indian National Congress (INC).

DMK’s principal secretary and deputy leader of the opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly Durai Murugan said: “We have no idea about the regional front which West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is looking to form. The DMK will continue its alliance with the Congress party,”

The development has come as a major relief for the Congress party.

“We are with the DMK in the state. So, there is no question of third front in TN. We are happy with the statement of DMK’s principal secretary,” H Vasanthakumar, MLA and vice president of the Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committee, said .

DMK working president MK Stalin had earlier extended his support to Banerjee in her fight to protect the federal structure and autonomy of states, leading to speculation that the party could join the third front.

Subsequently, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who has also expressed concerns over challenges to state autonomy, had visited Stalin’s residence on April 29.

Explaining the DMK’s stand, DMK Spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai said, “When Rao met Stalin, there was no talk about the third front. The DMK will support all the chief ministers who speak out for the cause of federal structure and autonomy for states. When it comes to the electoral alliance, we stand with the Congress”

The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(MDMK) led by Vaiko, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a Dalit party led by Thol Thirumavalavan, Communist party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Indian Union Muslim league and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK, a party representing the interests of minorities) are part of the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.

Ahead of the 2014 parliamentary polls, the DMK exited from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and both parties contested separately, eventually losing all forty seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 22:12 IST