DMK dares Congress to quit alliance as rift between Tamil Nadu partners deepens

FE Online

The DMK has dared the Congress party to quit the alliance, a day after its senior leader TR Baalu said only time will tell whether its ties with the grand old party will go back to normalcy. The strain in ties began after the Congress alleged that the DMK violated the coalition dharma by not allotting a fair number of posts in local bodies. Peeved with the allegations levelled by Congress leaders, DMK then skipped the January 13 meeting of the opposition parties on CAA convened by the Congress.

DMK leader Duraimurugan said if the Congress wants to quit the alliance, it can do so. "If they want to quit, let them do so. How are we concerned, what is the loss for us?" he told reporters on the sidelines of a Pongal event in Vellore on Wednesday.

Duraimurugan added that his party was not worried about the Congress parting its ways. He also ruled out the possibility of the Congress’ decision will not affect the party’s voters. He said that the Congress party has no vote bank and thus will not affect the DMK’s prospects.

"Do they (Congress) have votes to make an impact?" he asked.

Earlier on Tuesday, DMK leader and former Union minister TR Baalu had said that only time will tell the fate of ties between the alliance partners in Tamil Nadu. Baalu said the Congress’ Tamil Nadu unit president KD Alagiri’s statement is a direct accusation on DMK president MK Stalin. He said that DMK cadre is disappointed and suggested that Congress should have talked to party leadership instead of making such statements openly.

Alagiri had accused the DMK of violating the coalition dharma by not allotting seats for local bodies and skipping the opposition meet on CAA convened by the Congress. He even said the party might leave the alliance.

On Tuesday, DMK said it skipped the meeting convened by Congress on CAA at Delhi as the party chief MK Stalin was accused of violating coalition dharma over local body polls.

Meanwhile, Alagiri played down the rift saying the two parties will remain in the alliance. Going soft on the DMK leadership, he told reporters in Chennai that the reason for his party not getting some seats was not due to the DMK’s leadership but it was owing to some functionaries at the local level.

"We have to express our constraints. We do that and it is our duty," he said.