Stalin urges KCR to support Congress alliance

DMK Leader MK Stalin greets Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, at his residence, in Chennai, Monday, May 13, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s DMK outreach hoping to get a commitment from the Tamil Nadu’s principal Opposition party to support a “non-Congress, non-BJP front” after the Lok Sabha elections results are out on May 23 seems to have ended in failure, albeit for now.
 
Instead, Stalin is understood to have extended an invitation to Rao to support a Congress-led coalition after the polls. Sources said Rao was visibly upset at not being able to extract a commitment from the DMK on his efforts to cobble up a “Federal Front.”
 
Dubbed as a “courtesy call” by the DMK, Rao and Stalin discussed national political scenario for nearly 75 minutes on Monday evening as both parties are expected to do well in the Lok Sabha polls. While DMK is an alliance partner of the Congress, the TRS chief has been fancying the idea of a “Third Front” by reaching out to leaders of regional parties asking them to come together on a single platform after the results are out on May 23.
 
Sources said Rao proposed the Federal Front before Stalin, who reaffirmed his party’s commitment to the Congress-led UPA and recalled that it was the DMK which proposed Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister. They said the DMK President extended an invitation to Rao to support a coalition led by the Congress.
 
They also said Stalin was categorical that the DMK cannot change its “anti-BJP” stance” and still remains firm on its alliance with the Congress. “He came with an agenda which is not acceptable to us. We are in an alliance with the Congress and we were the first to propose Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister’s post and we conveyed to Rao that we stand by that commitment,” a senior DMK leader who is aware of what transpired at the meeting told DH.
 
In fact, the DMK was not keen on granting an appointment for Rao, who it feels might be working at the behest of the BJP. “It was a courtesy call. We know the reason for his meeting, but we could not say no to him because it would not be right to deny time to a Chief Minister,” another DMK leader said.
 
Rao arrived in Tiruchirapalli on Sunday and offered prayers at the Srirangam Temple on Monday morning. This is Rao’s second meeting with DMK leadership in one year – he had met Stalin and his father M Karunanidhi in April 2018 and sought the DMK's support for the Federal Front.

However, the DMK decided to continue its alliance with Congress for the Lok Sabha polls and made a formal announcement after the death of Karunanidhi.

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