Today's Paper

`Cong. won't fight shy of going it alone'

Chennai Sept. 6. The Congress will have no truck with the AIADMK ``now or in the future'' and it is ``not afraid'' of fighting the parliamentary elections alone in Tamil Nadu, the senior leader, Ram Niwas Mirdha, said today.

Talking to the media here, Mr. Mirdha, who is the chairman of the party's central election authority, accused the former Congress ally, AIADMK, of being ``anti-people'' and ``pro-BJP''.

He charged that the AIADMK Government had come up with the law against forcible conversions and the ban on animal sacrifice only to ``please the BJP'' for reasons other than ideological commitment. For, the AIADMK would have brought in these laws during its previous regime itself, had it been ideologically in favour of them, he argued.

As for the prospects of the Congress aligning with the DMK for the Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Mirdha made it clear that his party would ``not have formal talks'' or ``alliance'' with it as long as it remained part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

Asked whether the Congress would tie up with the DMK if it quit the BJP alliance, Mr. Mirdha said the party would decide after ``taking other things too into consideration'' and in consultation with like-minded parties. He, however, declined to elaborate on the ``other things.''

The Congress was prepared to cooperate with all Opposition parties to fight against the AIADMK regime. ``That should not, however, give an idea that we are aligning with those parties.''

Asked whether the Congress was strong enough to go it alone, he said the party was ``not afraid'' of fighting a lone battle and it was strengthening the organisation in Tamil Nadu. ``So, it (party's strength) cannot be used as a bargaining point.''

Mr. Mirdha, who reviewed membership enrolment in the State Congress, said a committee of observers had been formed to oversee the exercise and take up an intensive drive for a week from September 11.

Complaint to Mirdha

Meanwhile, Mr. Balakrishnan and Mr. Elangovan have handed over a written complaint to Mr. Mirdha that ``some vested interests deliberately prevented 26 district presidents from receiving membership cards''.

Despite the TNCC sending four reminders, they were not willing to recieve the membership cards.

Even after the AICC secretary, Satyajit Gaekwad, sent them a reminder, they did not pick up the membership forms.

``Even the central election committee member, M. Arunachalam, who was deputed by you to supervise the membership enrolment, has not enrolled himself as a member of the party,'' the TNCC leaders said in the letter.

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