Cong may take up DMK offer for pre-poll alliance

Cong may take up DMK offer for pre-poll alliance

Buoyed by its success in Bihar, the Congress is expected to take up the offer of a pre-poll alliance made by erstwhile partner DMK for the upcoming assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

The offer made by DMK chief M Karunanidhi in late December was discussed by Tamil Nadu Congress President E V K S Elangovan with Rahul Gandhi on Friday. In a follow-up meeting with AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik, Elangovan is learnt to have discussed the modalities of the seat-sharing they are expected to hold with the DMK leadership.

Congress leaders were keenly watching the moves of Chief Minister J Jayalalitha with the hope that she would drop hints for a pre-poll understanding. However, with AIADMK more inclined towards the BJP at the Centre, the Congress is understood to have decided to take up the DMK’s open offer.

The Congress has been out of power in Tamil Nadu for more than five decades and is seen as a “five percent party” having little influence on local politics. This is perhaps the reason that it has left it to the senior partner DMK to make the announcement about a pre-poll alliance.

The DMK is also in talks with DMDK’s Captain Vijaykanth, who had contested the 2011 elections along with AIADMK. Soon after the poll results, Vijaykanth had a fall out with Chief Minister J Jayalalitha.

Congress leaders said Rahul are keen on replicating the Bihar experiment by striking alliance with regional parties to keep the grand old party relevant.

The DMK which has shared power at the Centre with the Congress since 2004 had quit the UPA in 2013 over the mistreatment of Sri Lanakan Tamils by the island government, and the arrests of DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi in connection with the spectrum allocation scam.

The Congress contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on its own and had drawn a blank. It had contested the 2011 assembly polls along with the DMK but managed to win only five seats.

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