Fallout deepens as DMK dares Congress to quit alliance

A day after it said only time will tell whether ties with the Congress would go back to normalcy, the DMK on Wednesday upped the ante, saying if the national party wants to quit the alliance, it can do so.

Party veteran Duraimurugan, when asked about Congress's charge that DMK violated coalition dharma and that the grand old party might leave the alliance, he said,"if they want to quit, let them do so. How are we concerned, what is the loss for us?." Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Pongal event here, the DMK treasurer said the party was not worried about Congress leaving the alliance and in particular he was not concerned.

Asked whether it will not impact the votes in favour of DMK, Duraimurugan said his party will not be affected at all. In his sarcastic style, he said the Congress does not have a vote bank to make a dent on his party's prospects. "Do they have votes to make an impact?" he asked. On his party colleague and former Union Minister T R Baalu saying that only "time will tell" on ties, he said: "Baalu said only time will tell. But I have answered the question." Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief K S Alagiri again sought to downplay the widening rift which appeared to heading for a break-up.

Going soft on the DMK top leadership, he told reporters in Chennai that the reason for his party not getting some seats vis-a-vis the recent civic polls was not due to the Dravidian party's high command. It was owing to some functionaries at the local level, he said, adding, "we have to express our constraints. We do that and it is our duty." On Tuesday, DMK said it skipped a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress on CAA at Delhi since its party chief M K Stalin was accused of violating coalition dharma over local body polls.

While DMK senior leader T R Baalu said only time would tell whether the ties have become normal again, Alagiri played down the discord and asserted that both parties were "two joined hands" and the alliance would go on. On Jan 10, Alagiri had said that Congress was not alloted a fair number of posts of local bodies chiefs by DMK and this went against "coalition dharma".

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