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With Stalin at helm, DMK likely to stay aligned with Congress

Rahul Gandhi and MK Stalin are known to share a good rapport. The relations between the two parties have improved since the DMK quit the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) after almost nine years in March 2013.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2018 23:07 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Stalin,DMK,Congress
Congress president Rahul Gandhi was among the first political leaders to congratulate MK Stalin (pictured) after he took over as DMK chief on Tuesday.(PTI)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was among the first political leaders to congratulate MK Stalin after he took over as Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)’s chief on Tuesday.

“Congratulations to Shri M K Stalin on being elected President of the DMK. I wish him happiness & success as he begins a new chapter in his political journey,” Gandhi tweeted.

The two leaders are known to share a good rapport. The relations between the two parties have improved since the DMK quit the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) after almost nine years in March 2013.

The DMK had quit the alliance over the then Manmohan Singh government’s “failure to prevent the watering down” of a UN resolution against Sri Lankan over human rights abuses. The ties between the two parties were also strained over the allegations of corruption against the DMK leaders in the allocation of 2G-spectrum.

DMK’s loss to the AIADMK in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls forced it to align with the Congress again for the 2016 assembly polls. The tie-up remains firm and the two parties have indicated that they will fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together.

Gandhi was among the leaders invited to celebrate Karunanidhi’s 94th birthday in June last year. After the event, Gandhi made it a point to spend time at Stalin’s residence. Gandhi had posed with Stalin’s grandchildren for pictures.

When Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on women’s reservation bill in July this year, Stalin promptly extended his support to the move. With the elevation of Stalin, a status quo is expected in the DMK-Congress relations given that both the parties are wary of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s inroads into Tamil Nadu.

For his part, Gandhi has asked the state leaders to strengthen the party at the grassroots level, but also made it clear that the Congress was willing to play second fiddle to the DMK at least for now.

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 23:07 IST