Unease in T.N. Congress unit over DMK's electoral strategy in Puducherry

Dinesh Gundu Rao, AICC in-charge for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and TNCC president K.S. Alagiri in Chennai. File photo  

DMK leader S. Jagathrakshakan’s announcement that the DMK would lead an alliance in Puducherry, where the Congress is in power, has caused unease among the party’s Tamil Nadu unit.

Congress leaders hoped its ties with the Congress in Tamil Nadu would remain intact, and that party leader Rahul Gandhi’s scheduled visits would only help strengthen the alliance.

Many Congress leaders The Hindu spoke to on Monday remained hopeful that the DMK would not ruffle the feathers in the Secular Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu.

They said the Puducherry issue was different and acknowledged there were problems in the alliance in the Union Territory.

“It is a different issue, there are local issues going on. There is no issue in Tamil Nadu. We will discuss this with our leadership and the DMK leaders and see what to do,” said Dinesh Gundu Rao, AICC in-charge for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Except Mr. Rao, none of the other leaders were willing to go on record. TNCC president K.S. Alagiri refused to comment on the issue.

‘DMK benefits’

“If you look at it, there is no big benefit for us in this election. The benefits are going to go to the DMK, if the alliance is intact. All parties in the alliance are bringing their strengths to see that the DMK gets to power,” a senior TNCC leader said.

When asked if the Congress had a ‘plan B’, in case the DMK decided to sever its ties with the national party, an AICC leader said they had not been thinking in those terms, and it was unlikely that such a situation would even arise.

Most leaders expressed hope that Mr. Gandhi’s visits would enable the alliance to move out of any probable trouble that might arise out of the DMK trying to assert its supremacy in the neighbouring Union Territory.

Mr. Gandhi is scheduled to visit the western belt on January 23, 24 and 25, and there are three more visits planned to Tamil Nadu, ahead of the election. One visit is likely to be made before the election is announced.

“We have already shared some plans of Mr. Gandhi’s visit with DMK president M.K. Stalin. They are likely to campaign together at some point. So this development in Puducherry will not affect the Tamil Nadu alliance,” another leader said.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:18:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/puducherry-assembly/unease-in-tn-congress-unit/article33604468.ece

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