Congress leaders refuse to read more into Rahul’s birthday greetings to Vijayakant
Though AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi greeting Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder Vijayakant on his birthday [which fell on Sunday] is seen as an important development, Congress leaders in the State refuse to read more into it, saying the situation is still in a flux to talk about alliance.
“Today, in Tamil Nadu, both the Congress and the DMK are almost in the same position. While the DMDK, which has consolidated anti-Dravidian forces to certain extent, has succeeded in establishing itself as a force to reckon with, the Congress could not do it because it never capitalised the anti-Dravidian sentiments in the State,” said an AICC secretary from the State.
Besides Mr. Rahul Gandhi, AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan, Union Ministers G.K. Vasan and E.M. Sudarsan Natchiappan were among those who wished the DMDK leader on his birthday.
The Congress secretary said Mr. Gandhi and Vijayakant established contacts after the DMDK sought the support of the Congress for its candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls. “But, finally, we decided to support DMK candidate Kanimozhi. This goes to prove that our party would rely on either of the Dravidian parties when it comes to Lok Sabha polls,” he says.
Another Congress leader dismissed the argument that Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s birthday message to Vijayakant assumed significance because he never greeted DMK president M. Karunanidhi or called on him during his visit to Tamil Nadu.
He pointed out that on the occasion of Mr. Karunanidhi’s birthday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted him every time.
Despite displaying themselves as friendly towards the DMDK, the Congress leaders say it is “too early” to come to the conclusion on the alliance as it is not clear whether Mr. Vijayakant would agree to be a constituent of the front that includes the DMK.
“We want to form a broad alliance. But, we also feel enthused by the Congress’ performance in the Lok Sabha by-elections in Karnataka and the changed attitude of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa towards the Food Security Bill. Though there are ifs and buts in her stand, this is for the first time that she is seen to be favourably disposed towards our party,” said the Congress leader.