Tamil Nadu

In T.N., Cong. sees itself as mobiliser of minorities

With the DMK likely to play hard ball with the Congress during the impending seat-sharing talks for the Assembly election, the national party believes it acts as the ‘multiplier’ and can mobilise the minorities to vote for the alliance.

While the DMK was liberal in allotting seats to the Congress during the Parliamentary election, it is expected not to be generous this time citing the party’s poor “strike rate” in the last two Assembly elections.

All India Congress Committee in-charge for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Dinesh Gundu Rao insisted: “Definitely, when the Congress is part of the alliance, the minorities would feel doubly secure that the secular principles would be reinforced.” He credited the DMK with opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “wrong policies” and the BJP.

“We act as a multiplier – we are a liberal, progressive party and will not compromise on our secular ideology. It is in our DNA and we bring that to the alliance,” he contended. The Congress leadership believes that the minorities in Tamil Nadu are increasingly viewing the party favourably with the BJP perceptibly growing in the State.

A source close to the party high command claimed that internal surveys showed the minorities were feeling jittery about a possibility of the DMK striking an alliance with the BJP in the future.

“In seats where minorities make a difference, we find that the voters prefer a Congress candidate contesting in their constituency,” he claimed. “There is usually a talk about how Congress’ strike rate is poor, but what is not discussed is how many seats DMK wins because of the Congress,” he said.

According to him, the Congress could tilt the scales in favour of the alliance in 29 seats.

A Muslim leader in the Secular Progressive Alliance, when contacted, felt the alliance would be a credible ‘secular’ alternative only if DMK and Congress were together. “It is not useful to discuss who has more credibility with minorities. The alliance should be intact, only then will it work,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 2:26:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/in-tn-cong-sees-itself-as-mobiliser-of-minorities/article33927880.ece

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