NEW DELHI: As party leaders lined up to greet former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on her 72nd birthday, she discussed alliance issues with DMK chief MK Stalin a day ahead of the Opposition meet on Monday.
The meet is slated a day before Parliament’s winter session begins, and when results for Assembly polls in MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram would be out. DMK leaders TR Baalu, Kanimozhi and A Raja joined the meeting. “We had a warm and cordial meeting... I look forward to continuing our dialogue and strengthening our alliance,” Rahul said.
MK Stalin had personally invited Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for the inauguration of his late father and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s statue in Chennai on December 16. Karunanidhi had passed away on August 7.
Sources said with a weakened AIADMK after the demise of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha, the DMK-Congress alliance hopes to bag most of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the southern state. Stalin had also backed Rahul when he targeted the PM over the Rafale jet deal.
The DMK has remained positive on working together with Congress, which is elated over the projections of various poll surveys that the Grand Old Party, which at present is in power on its own in Punjab, Mizoram and Puducherry and shares power with the JD-S in Karnataka, was doing better than the BJP in the five assembly polls.
A good show in this round, being billed as the semi- final to the 2019 national elections, would provide the much-needed boost to Sonia’s efforts as the Congress Legislative Party leader to forge Opposition unity, which appears to be elusive.
West Bengal chief minister and TMC president Mamata Banerjee in the past and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu recently have made a pitch to bring the opposition together but the key player to watch at the December 10 conclave would be BSP supremo Mayawati, who shocked the Congress managers by saying a clear no to joining hands with the grand old party before the assembly polls.
Prime Minister Modi, West Bengal chief minister and TMC president Mamata Banerjee, RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav, NC leader Omar Abdullah and several Congress veterans greeted Sonia on her birthday.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the past and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu recently have made a pitch to bring the opposition together