However, the DMK will support the Congress "if the Congressmen regret and get back to their secular credentials”

Softening his stand on the Congress, the DMK leader, M. Karunanidhi, on Wednesday said his party was ready to support it after the polls if Congress firmly adhered to secular principles.

Launching the DMK’s election campaign in the city, Mr. Karunanidhi said though his party had suffered tremendous ordeals as a Congress ally in the UPA, he would not mind backing the national party if Congress men ‘regretted’ their mistakes and steered clear of communal elements.

Mr. Karunanidhi’s remarks are seen as a stinging response to the Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, who wanted the DMK to make it clear that it would not support the BJP after the Lok Sabha elections. Introducing the party’s city candidates – T. K. S. Elangovan (South Chennai), Dayanidhi Maran (Central Chennai) and R. Girirajan (North Chennai) – Mr. Karunanidhi said the DMK’s offer of support to the Congress “did not mean voting for that party in this election.”

Pointing out that the Congress’ decline had touched a new low not only in Tamil Nadu but in other States too, Mr. Karunanidhi reminded that they were now paying the price for being “ungrateful” to a loyal ally like the DMK and for having subjected its members to “vendetta politics.”

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