Stalin convenes ‘all-party’ meet, begins moves to strengthen DMK-led alliance
This was also the first time that MDMK founder and leader Vaiko entered the headquarters of the DMK after splitting from it several years ago.
The DMK’s working president MK Stalin convened a meeting on Tuesday of its allies and smaller regional parties to corner the AIADMK government on several issues ahead of the local body elections and also as a preparation in case of snap polls to the assembly.
Stalin’s move to invite leaders of Congress and Indian Union Muslim League, Viduthalai Chirutaigal Katchi, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Communist Party of India (CPI), and Communist Party of India (Marxist) is being seen as a formal coming together in a pre-poll alliance.
“You will know in the future,” Stalin said when asked if the participants at the meeting will become the DMK’s allies in elections.
It was also for the first time that MDMK founder and leader Vaiko entered the headquarters of the DMK after splitting from it several years ago.
The participation of Vaiko, a fiery orator in Tamil, is being seen as significant for the DMK, which saw an ignominious defeat in the recently held RK Nagar assembly byelection.
Rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran romped home with ease and relegated the DMK to a very distant third position. Its candidate even lost the deposit as well.
A senior DMK leader admitted that the grouping of political forces in the making needed to be strengthened further.
Stalin has also begun talking to cadres from different districts directly, bypassing the local leadership, for feedback and making corrections where needed, a party source said.
The leaders of the various parties unanimously decided at the meeting that they will hold joint protests across the state on February 13 demanding the complete rollback of the increased bus fare. The state government has already ruled out any rollback.
“All opposition parties will be participating in protests against the government on a host of issues,” Stalin said after the meeting held at the DMK headquarters.
They also demanded the release of all the student leaders held during the strike against the bus fare hike and withdrawal of cases against them.
Tamil Nadu fisheries minister D Jayakumar dismissed Stalin’s efforts to rally around opposition parties as attempts to dislodge the government.
“Stalin is having sleepless nights because of his dreams to dislodge the government and become the chief minister himself,” the minister said adding he will fail.