Congress and ally Vaiko not on same page over Article 370
Congress is upset with MDMK chief Vaiko for alleging that Congress policies were also responsible for worsening of J&K situation. Vaiko’s party is an ally to Congress in the state of Tamil Nadu.Updated: Aug 08, 2019 21:22 IST
A political slugfest broke out between allies MDMK and the Congress in Tamil Nadu on Thursday over Vaiko’s speech--seen to be targeting the later-- during the Parliamentary debate over Narendra Modi government’s proposal to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by abrogating Article 370.
Congress called the MDMK General Secretary a “political chameleon” for accusing the grand old party-- of committing the original sin in Kashmir paving the way for the present-day turmoil-- during his speech in the upper house.
While the Congress accused Vaiko of being ungrateful, the MDMK hit back saying, “Truth is always bitter”. Vaiko too shot back saying he had entered the upper house of Parliament after 23 years not because of Congress’ generosity.
It all started with Vaiko’s speech in the upper house of Parliament that appeared to be targeting Congress more for its historic handling of Jammu and Kashmir than the BJP for abrogation of Article 370.
Reopening of old wounds and finger-pointing by Vaiko during the debate on the bill to reorganise the state of Jammu and Kashmir had not gone down well with the Congress. It felt that Vaiko pinned the blame on the party while being soft on the BJP.
The Tamil Nadu Congress accused Vaiko of an “ulterior motive” and said he was very happy to see his speech attacking the Congress getting lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“No doubt, he is doing this to satisfy some people. He himself is elated at an engrossed Prime Minister Modi appreciating his speech. This is what the MDMK leader had expected, proving once again that he is a political chameleon,” Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president KS Azhagri said in a hard hitting statement.
Former TNCC president EVKS Elangovan caustically reminded Vaiko that he was elected to the Rajya Sabha with the crucial support of nine Congress legislators in Tamil Nadu.
Vaiko responded to the charge by saying that his Rajya Sabha elevation was not because of Congress largesse.
“It was not the Congress which had sent me to parliament. I did not win because of Congress support,” Vaiko said.
He was supported by MDMK Deputy General Secretary Mallai Sathya who suggested the Congress was uncomfortable with certain historical truths.
“Truth is bitter. No wonder, the Congress is defensive,” he told the media.
The DMK heads the secular alliance in the state and may have noticed the war of words between the allies. Any immediate threat to the alliance was unlikely as the state faces assembly polls only in 2021.