DMK still angry with TNCC for alliance dharma comments

DMK still angry with TNCC for Alagari's alliance dharma comments

Alagiri had accused the DMK of not adhering to 'coalition dharma'

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday gave ample hints that it has not yet forgiven the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) for the latter's public statement accusing it of “not adhering to alliance dharma” in the local body elections.

DMK Parliamentary party Leader T R Baalu made his displeasure known by maintaining that the TNCC chief K S Alagiri’s statement has hurt the party cadres.

Baalu had on Monday skipped the meeting of Opposition leaders called by the Congress in New Delhi in protest against the Congress state unit’s attitude towards the DMK.

“The statement (by Alagiri) had accused the DMK leadership of not adhering to alliance dharma. We consider it as a direct accusation against our leader (M K Stalin). Our cadres are upset that such a statement was made against the DMK,” Baalu told reporters at the party headquarters here.

Cracks appeared in the DMK-Congress combine on January 10, when Alagiri and Congress floor leader in the Assembly K R Ramasamy issued a public statement accusing the DMK of not adhering to alliance dharma in the allocation of posts in the local bodies.

Adding fire to fuel was cross-voting by two Congress councillors that led to the Pudukkottai district panchayat going to the AIADMK although the DMK had won maximum seats.

Unwilling to brand these actions as “one-off” incidents, the DMK decided to boycott the meeting on Monday, which set off speculation about the future of the alliance.

“Only time will tell. Why are you in a hurry?” Baalu said when asked when relations between the DMK and the Congress would normalise.

DMK’s comments came even as Alagiri handed out an olive branch to the Dravidian party after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi. Sources said that Alagiri was asked by the Congress chief to sort out the issue with DMK as early as possible.

A meeting between Alagiri and Stalin to sign the truce cannot be ruled out, a senior Congress leader said that adding that the party did not expect such a “strong reaction” from the DMK.

Alagiri also maintained that there were no issues between the two parties.

“The DMK and the Congress have been friends for long and this relationship would continue and won’t end. I have a personal relationship with M K Stalin. There may be some misunderstanding, but there is no room for anger,” Alagiri said.

This is the first time that a visible strain is being noticed in the DMK-Congress Alliance which was renewed in 2016 after a gap of three years.

The DMK and the Congress stitched up an alliance in 2004 which continued till 2013.

After renewing the alliance in 2016, the DMK-Congress contested 2016 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha polls together.

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