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Tamil Nadu parties look to woo Congress ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls

Till recently, the major regional players AIADMK and DMK would be wooed by the national parties for a state alliance but now, the regional parties are speaking about aligning with the Congress directly.

india Updated: Aug 05, 2018 23:44 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu news,Congress,Lok Sabha elections 2019
Congress had led the alliance only twice in the state — in 1977 and 1989. In 2016, the party contested alone in all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and lost all.(PTI)

Even as the Tamil Nadu unit of Congress has an alliance with the major opposition party in the state, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), other regional parties are trying hard to woo the grand old party of India.

Till recently, the major regional players AIADMK and DMK would be wooed by the national parties for a state alliance but now, the regional parties are speaking about aligning with the Congress directly.

The latest such proposal came from rebel AIADMK leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran, who said that his recently-launched party, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam — to represent the Sasikala faction of AIADMK — was ready to join hands with Congress if they broke terms with DMK.

“If Congress walks away from DMK alliance, we will consider an alliance with Congress,” Dhinakaran had said on Thursday.

However, Tamil Nadu Congress committee president Su Thirunavukkarasar has made it clear that his party will go with DMK for the upcoming polls.

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam‘s (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko has also tried to woo Congress in the state. In May, he said his party was ready to align with the Congress to defeat the BJP.

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder Ramadoss also concurred with Vaiko.

“We don’t have any inclination to go with BJP. However, we are likely to join with Congress. After conducting the general body and executive committee meeting of our party, we will make a final announcement,” Ramadoss said at a recent meeting.

M Krishnaswamy, former PCC president, Tamil Nadu, and ex-MP, observed that the state-wide anti-BJP stand has been drawing many regional parties to Congress.

“People who criticised us in the past have realised about the necessity of Congress to safeguard the secular nature of the country,” he said.

However, Tamil Nadu BJP leaders said the regional parties are making these attempts to increase the bargaining power to get more seats from BJP.

“MDMK and PMK were already in our alliance. In a bid to increase the bargaining power, they are saying that they would align with Congress. All these parties will settle with us finally,” S R Shekar, spokesperson, Tamil Nadu BJP, told HT.

According to political observers, Congress had led the alliance only twice in the state — in 1977 and 1989. In 2016, the party contested alone in all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and lost all.

“As PMK, AMMK, MDMK are worried over the LS polls, they want to have a strong national party in their alliance. As of now, there are no negative votes for Congress in TN. However, it is not the case for BJP,” observed Raveendran Duraisamy, a noted political analyst.

“As Congress is projecting itself as a secular party, to consolidate the minorities’ votes, all the parties chant the name of Congress in TN,” he said.

First Published: Aug 05, 2018 20:00 IST