Working to boost DMK-led alliance, TNCC tells Rahul

Efforts being taken to strengthen DMK-led alliance, TNCC tells Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi was addressing senior party leaders via video-conferencing on the party’s plans for the assembly elections due in the first half of 2021

Rahul Gandhi. Credit: PTI photo.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday told party leaders and cadre from Tamil Nadu to “work in a way” that the state ushers in a “new dawn” by getting out of the sufferings under the AIADMK government in the assembly elections due next year.

Gandhi was addressing senior party leaders via video-conferencing on the party’s plans for the assembly elections due in the first half of 2021. The meeting discussed ways to strengthen the Secular Progressive Alliance led by the DMK of which Congress is a part and how to identify seats to be contested by the party.

The discussions via video conferencing was attended by TNCC President K S Alagiri, working presidents, Congress Working Committee (CWC) members P Chidambaram, Manickam Tagore, and A Chellakumar, and MPs, MLAs, AICC secretaries hailing from Tamil Nadu, former TNCC chief E V K S Elangovan, K V Thangabalu and other senior leaders.

Moderated by AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal, the meeting also decided to campaign against the “anti-Tamil” activities of the BJP government like Hindi imposition, and conducting of NEET exam.

The meeting assumed significance in the wake of media reports that the Congress was planning to leave the DMK-led alliance and stitch together a Third Front with parties like Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) led by actor Kamal Haasan.

While mentioning that the Congress was a formidable force in Tamil Nadu despite not being in power for 50 years, Gandhi said the party can be strengthened further if efforts are put in, Alagiri quoted Rahul as saying.

During the meeting, TNCC leaders are understood to have asked Gandhi to “actively campaign” in Tamil Nadu where he “enjoys considerable support” for the alliance.

Gandhi’s meeting with Tamil Nadu leaders came a fortnight after AICC in-charge of the state, Dinesh Gundu Rao, making it clear that the party will not “bargain” for seats during talks with the DMK. His comments were made after speculation that the DMK may not “gift many seats” like it did in 2016, following Congress’ “poor performance” in Bihar assembly elections.

Congress and DMK have been in an alliance since 2004, except for three years between 2013 and 2016.