After Stalin, now DMK mouthpiece harps on Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate for 2019 Lok Sabha poll, seeks allies’ support

Even four days after Stalin made the surprise announcement, except a few parties such as the Tamil Nadu-based Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, there have not been many takers.

Published: 21st December 2018 02:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st December 2018 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

Congress President Rahul Gandhi is being presented a sword by DMK president MK Stalin at a public meeting after unveiling a life-size bronze statue of late Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi at YMCA ground in Chennai. (Photo | PTI)

Stalin had on Sunday made a strong pitch for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition. (Photo: PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The DMK mouthpiece, ‘Murasoli,’  has appealed to the opposition parties to accept the party leader MK Stalin’s proposal to project Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the anti-BJP front in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Even four days after Stalin made the surprise announcement, except a few parties such as the Tamil Nadu-based Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, there have not been many takers.

The issue has already created ripples in the grand anti-BJP alliance as some of the leaders had either opposed the proposal or chosen to skirt the question about the PM candidate.

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In this backdrop, an editorial in the ‘Murasoli’ on Thursday reiterated Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate and put forward a few arguments in support. “The BJP is projecting Narendra Modi as its prime Minister candidate. It would be a setback if the opposition parties do not project a prime ministerial candidate,” the editorial read.

It said the DMK leader’s statement was not aimed at creating tussles in the alliance, but made only after considering the political climate in the country. The prime ministerial candidate has to be from the Congress since the party is the biggest in the opposition camp and has the capacity to get the maximum number of MPs from across the country.

“We (parties in the anti-BJP alliance) should not give any room for the BJP to weaken the alliance,” said the editorial.

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Acknowledging that four of the parties in the opposition camp had stated that the prime ministerial candidate need not be discussed now, the editorial said there was no need to make this a point of discussion now and what Stalin had said was his own opinion.

Political observers say it appears that the DMK wants to gather support for Stalin’s proposal on Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate.

“Except Stalin and HD Kumaraswamy (Karnataka Chief Minister), other leaders such as Mamta Banerjee and Sharad Pawar are PM aspirants. So they may not endorse Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate. It looks like the DMK fears a backlash for Stalin’s proposal and it is gathering support from other parties,” said Ravinthran Duraisamy, a political analyst.

Tharasu Shyam, a veteran journalist, said, “Back in 2004, even Karunanidhi proposed Sonia Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate. But none of the parties accepted the proposal except the DMK ’s allies in TN. Stalin has proposed Rahul Gandhi’s name to ensure that the DMK secures the votes of the minority communities.”

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