That Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram chose to call on DMK president M. Karunanidhi a day after he remarked that the Congress would “reap what it sowed” if India participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), goes to show that the two parties will continue their alliance despite the uneasy relationship.

“Clearly ours is a nebulous relationship. We cannot ignore each other in the absence of other options. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in the past, was keen on keeping us in her company and openly invited us to join the alliance. Now she may not like us,” said a senior Congress leader.

The Congress leadership in Tamil Nadu is of the opinion that the “mistrust” between the two parties was very high. “The votes of the DMK and the Congress are not adequate to win an election. We can make a mark only if we are able to rope in actor Vijayakant’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK). The prospect of the AIADMK sweeping the polls is high if there is a three-cornered contest,” said another Congress leader.

Almost nine months has elapsed since the DMK quit the Congress-led UPA at the Centre over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

The Congress high command, however, supported DMK’s Kanimozhi in the Rajya Sabha elections, ignoring the overtures of the DMDK.

“They need us more than we need them. There is no guarantee that Mr Vijayakant will not go with the BJP especially when the party is gaining ground in the State thanks to Narendra Modi’s popularity,” said a former minister, who belongs to the DMK.

The DMK leadership’s calculation is that the BJP will gain in Tamil Nadu only at the expense of the AIADMK. “We have the support of the two major Dalit formations – Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) and Puthiya Tamizhagam (PT) – besides parties representing the Muslims. Even if there is a three-cornered contest, we will fare well,” said the former Minister.

While the DMK is harping on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the Congress leadership argues that it will have a very little impact in the Lok Sabha election. “The real issue will be a political party’s ability to get votes. If the DMK feels that the BJP can be of great help, it may not hesitate to move towards it since it is no stranger to the saffron party,” said the Congress leader.

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