DMK chief’s olive branch to Cong a nod to minorities
Weeks after describing Narendra Modi a good friend, DMK patriarch Karunanidhi played the secular card by offering to forgive an ‘ungrateful Congress’. The lure of the minority vote across Tamil Nadu is believed to be behind this flip flop.india Updated: Mar 28, 2014 00:57 IST
Weeks after describing Narendra Modi a good friend, DMK patriarch Karunanidhi played the secular card by offering to forgive an ‘ungrateful Congress’.
The lure of the minority vote across Tamil Nadu is believed to be behind this flip flop.
Karunanidhi had earlier eulogised Modi as an able administrator who did ‘good things in Gujarat’, sparking off speculation of a possible move towards the BJP.
At a public meeting on Wednesday, he condemned the communal forces and warmed up to the Congress in an apparent effort to reassure the minorities that the DMK’s heart was in the right place.
A senior DMK leader read Karunanidhi’s support to the Congress with a rider — “if it reforms itself in dealing with allies” — as killing two birds with one stone.
This followed union finance minister P Chidambaram’s request to the DMK to promise that it would not have a post-poll alliance with BJP.
“Not only did the DMK chief assure the Congress that he valued it as a former ally, he also assured the state’s 8% minority community that DMK would look after its interests,” the DMK leader said.
Another reason could be to prevent elder son Alagiri from going to the Congress, which had been trying to seek his cooperation in the general elections.
Karunanidhi declared at the public meeting that he was willing to forgive the Congress for betraying DMK, but not Alagiri for his anti-party activities. DMK insiders said Alagiri was inconsequential, as his clout has waned and his supporters are deserting him.
Alagiri’s expulsion from DMK is believed to have made younger brother MK Stalin’s path to control the party smooth.
But political analysts see a design in Karunanidhi’s stand against Alagiri.
They feel it could have been stage-managed for his elder son to get closer to BJP, which could be beneficial to the family in the long run.
Alagiri has already blessed H Raja, the BJP candidate taking on Karti Chidambaram in Sivaganga constituency.
The Congress in Tamil Nadu denied that it betrayed the DMK. “It is the DMK that broke the alliance,” TN Congress chief BS Gnanadesikan said.
First Published: Mar 28, 2014 00:53 IST