TNCC chief criticises Kamal days after inviting him

Days after inviting actor Kamal Haasan to join the “secular combine” in the state, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) chief K S Alagiri on Sunday criticised the actor for “unnecessarily criticising” the DMK, the senior partner of the alliance, which would only help the BJP, which is trying to stitch together a rainbow alliance.

Alagiri, who took over as president of the faction-ridden TNCC on Friday, also made it clear that any decision on inducting a new party into the alliance will be taken by the DMK and allies who are part of the combine. This is a volte-face by Alagiri, a senior Congressman who had served as MP and MLA, and sources say the clarification was issued after the DMK did not quite enjoy the “unilateral statement” with respect to inviting Kamal Haasan to the alliance.

Alagiri had on Friday invited Kamal Haasan, who heads the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), to join the secular alliance led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu to ensure that anti-Modi votes don’t get split. This wasn’t music to the DMK’s ears since Alagiri’s open invitation came a day after Kamal Haasan launching a frontal attack on the Dravidian party accusing it of indulging in corruption.

In a statement on Sunday, Alagiri said he extended an invite to Kamal Haasan to join the alliance in New Delhi and he was not aware of the actor-politician’s dig at the DMK. “Kamal Haasan criticising the DMK will only help the BJP and will not help the ideology which Kamal Haasan claims to profess. I condemn him for criticising DMK without any necessity,” he said in the statement.

“As far as Tamil Nadu, any decision on including allies will be taken by the DMK-led secular alliance,” Alagiri said. His statement came after the DMK expressed its displeasure over the invitation extended invitation to Kamal Haasan despite his continued attack on the party.

Kamal Haasan, who has promised to herald a change in the way the state is administered, launched his MNM in February 2018 and has been working on the ground. The party has announced that it will contest the Lok Sabha elections without an alliance.

With Kamal Haasan also professing Dravidian ideology, the Congress has been toying with the idea of bringing him into the DMK-led alliance.

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