Hinting at Congress adopting a tough position on alliance in the State, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan on Friday said only parties that lack strength to contest alone lay emphasis on poll alliance.

The Congress, he added, was contesting in more than 20 States alone and it was only in Tamil Nadu and Kerala that the alliances have become a norm. Asked whether he was hinting at Congress planning to go alone in the general elections, Mr. Natchiappan said: “We are saying that alliance is not a must” as the party has the strength, capability and implemented development programmes.

The Union Minister was responding to queries from press persons at the Chennai Trade Centre, where he inaugurated the 29th annual edition of the India International Leather Fair.

Noting that there was time till May to sew up alliances, the Minister, to a query on reviving the alliance with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, said for the DMK there were internal (party) issues that had to be addressed first. As regards a possible alliance, there was still time available for both DMK and the Congress to decide.

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