DMK: Skipped anti-CAA meet over Tamil Nadu Congress chief’s remarks

Arun Janardhanan

MK Stalin

A day after the DMK boycotted the Opposition strategy meeting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, NRC and NPR, convened by the Congress in New Delhi, senior DMK leader and Lok Sabha MP T R Baalu on Tuesday said that his party decided to boycott the meeting to protest Tamil Nadu Congress president K S Alagiri’s statement against the DMK, accusing it of going against “coalition dharma”.

Baalu also said only time will tell whether the DMK-led alliance, which reduced the ruling AIADMK to just one Lok Sabha seat in Tamil Nadu this summer, will continue.

Stating that Alagiri’s criticism had upset the entire party, Baalu said, “It was a statement in bad taste. We consider it as a statement against our party chief (M K Stalin), so we did not attend their (Congress’s) meeting.”

Asked whether negotiations were on at the top level to resolve the crisis, he said Alagiri’s remarks were “wrong” and the reaction from his party has come. “There is nothing (to it) more than that,” he added.

Besides the DMK, opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress, BSP and AAP, among others, had boycotted Monday’s meeting.

On January 10, Alagiri had said the Congress was not allotted a fair number of posts of local bodies chiefs by the DMK, and that this went against the “coalition dharma”. Sources in DMK said Alagiri is seen as a leader close to Congress veteran P Chidambaram, and often voicing the former Union minister’s opinion. Chidambaram subsequently seemed to justify Alagiri’s statement, stating that it was the feeling of party cadres, and was not against the DMK.

A DMK MP said, “It was the arrogance of Alagiri and people who mentor him from Delhi that irked Stalin...”