INTERVIEW| sirivella prasad Tamil Nadu

No rift with DMK, only aspirations of cadre conveyed: Congress leader

Sirivella Prasad

Sirivella Prasad   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

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‘Alliance has broken perception that ruling party alone can sweep local body polls’

The statement issued by Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri and Assembly floor leader K.R. Ramasamy on Friday night accusing the DMK of not adhering to “coalition dharma” in the indirect elections to key posts to the rural local bodies was only an expression of the party cadres’ aspirations, according to Sirivella Prasad, AICC secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu.

In an interview on Sunday, he said there is no rift between the two parties and the alliance has broken the perception that ruling parties would sweep local body polls. Excerpts:

TNCC president K S Alagiri’s had accused the DMK of not adhering to coalition dharma. There have been voices in the TNCC that the party has not been given adequate representation in the local bodies pointing to a rift with the DMK...

It is not a rift. The cadres will have their own perceptions and aspirations. Those aspirations, as a party State unit president, Mr. Alagiri has to represent. He had given a statement in that context. Everybody should know that the cadres of parties will have some kind of expectations. That is what was communicated to the DMK, giving respect to the opinion of our cadres.

There is a feeling in sections of the TNCC that the seats should have been decided earlier by the high command of both parties, since the DMK district secretaries are seen as being more powerful in the local bodies. Do you agree?

There is a general practice in Tamil Nadu’s alliance politics when it comes to the local bodies, the district secretaries of the DMK and district level leaders of the other alliance partners have a say in the seat sharing. Depennding on the strength of the alliance, they decide internally. Here, we have to look at it as an entire alliance … we can’t see as different political parties. We have to see this as one political unit fighting the other political unit on different ideologies and their political commitments. That is how we need to look at the entire exercise.

Will you now have a re-look at the seat sharing strategy for the urban local bodies?

Definitely. Alliance politics is not new to Tamil Nadu parties and its leaders. For so many decades, they have been in alliance politics. They will learn lessons (from this) and strengthen the alliance and partnership. It’s not a two-party alliance. Everybody’s aspiration is to come to power.

There was cross-voting in the indirect elections and the AIADMK got an edge. Is it a negative for your alliance?

Indirect elections are a different kind (of elections). In local body elections, the general perception is that it is in favour of the ruling party. We broke that perception. The results are a clear indication of that. Cross-voting happens on local dynamics as well. But the major thing is that we broke the perception.

Definitely, it is going to be a positive factor for the coming Assembly elections. We can see the trend. I am confident that this is going to positively help us in the Assembly elections.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 9:19:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-rift-with-dmk-only-aspirations-of-cadre-conveyed-cong-leader/article30552902.ece

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