Tamil Nadu

‘Not behaving like big brother’

K.N. Nehr   | Photo Credit: MOORTHY M

The DMK leadership on Tuesday rejected the perception that it was behaving like a “big brother” at the seat-sharing talks with its allies. The talks were being held smoothly and cordially, the party said.

“Do you think we can behave like a big brother with the Congress and the Communists? We are talking to them cordially. We are not like [former Chief Minister] Jayalalithaa, who had announced the constituencies that her party [the AIADMK] would contest even as talks with the alliance partners were in progress [in 2011],” DMK principal secretary K.N. Nehru said. He and organisation secretary R.S. Bharathi interacted with journalists.

They said none of the allies expressed dissatisfaction at the talks. “They can demand as many seats as they wish. But we can only offer what we have. There are a lot of allies this time, and we have to share the seats with them. There is no dissatisfaction among them, though a section outside sought to create such an impression,” he said.

The two leaders pointed out that even Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who held talks for three hours after midnight with the ruling AIADMK, could not finalise a deal.

‘Not a problem’

Mr. Nehru said the Congress was allotted 41 seats last time since there were not many allies. “There is no problem... Everything will be all right in a few days,” he added.

The DMK leaders did not agree with a suggestion that such a problem had never occurred when M. Karunanidhi was alive. “Even then, there was a stalemate. Many rounds of talks are necessary. How can we decide on the demands of the allies in a flash. We need to talk,” Mr. Nehru said.

Mr. Nehru and Mr. Bharathi said the DMK would contest in the maximum number of seats. “The number will be known only after the talks are over,” Mr. Bharathi said.

Asked whether pressure was mounted on the allies to get them to contest on the DMK’s symbol, Mr. Bharathi said it would be easy to contest on the known symbol. “We are ready to allow them. What is your problem?” he said.

There was no basis to the report that youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin had decided to opt out of the race in Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni. “A person submits application only to contest,” Mr. Nehru said.

The two leaders said the exclusive reservation for the Vanniyars was announced by the AIADMK government with an eye on the upcoming election.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 1:49:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/not-behaving-like-big-brother/article33975131.ece

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