Will not join hands with any other party without DMK, says Congress

Dutt, the AICC in-charge for Tamil Nadu, met Stalin at the latter's residence here, in his second visit in recent times, as part of efforts to further firm up the ties between the two parties.

Published: 11th November 2018 06:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2018 08:54 PM   |  A+A-

Congress Flag

For representational purposes (File | PTI)

By PTI

CHENNAI: Days after actor-politician Kamal Haasan offered to join hands with it if it snapped ties with the DMK, the Congress has said the Dravidian major will decide on the contours of the "secular" alliance in Tamil Nadu to oust the BJP from power in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

"There was absolutely no question of joining hands with any other party without the DMK, "a trusted and long-time ally," All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Sanjay Dutt told Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M K Stalin Saturday when he called on him, Congress sources told PTI.

The alliance in the southern state to strengthen the hands of Congress president Rahul Gandhi was being led by Stalin and only he might decide, in consultation with other friendly parties, on whether a particular party like Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) could be a part of it or not, Dutt was quoted as having said.

Dutt, the AICC in-charge for Tamil Nadu, met Stalin at the latter's residence here, in his second visit in recent times, as part of efforts to further firm up the ties between the two parties ahead of the formal start of negotiations for seat-sharing for next year's Lok Sabha election.

Haasan, who had met Gandhi in June, had recently indicated that he was open to an alliance with the Congress for the general election, while opposing both the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the DMK.

The MNM chief had also expressed the hope that the alliance between the DMK and the Congress might break.

"Let it break slowly," he had said last month, in a clear indication that he was willing to align with the Congress if it exited the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.

Reacting to it, senior DMK leader Duraimurugan had dubbed Haasan as "politically immature", though mentioning him as his good friend.

On Haasan's rider, a Congress leader said, "Preconditions do not help, nothing is permanent in politics. The common goal was to dislodge the "anti-people" Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre."

Besides the Congress, the Indian Union Muslim League and the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) were among the parties that had contested the previous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls as part of the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.

A final picture is, however, yet to emerge for the next year's polls.

The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), led by Vaiko, which has pledged its support to the DMK over a year ago, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) are set to be part of the front in Tamil Nadu with top CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury slated to meet Stalin on November 13.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, as part of his mission to forge opposition unity against the BJP, met Stalin here Friday and held discussions.

Sans the AIADMK and the DMK, a six-party bloc -- the People's Welfare Front -- comprising the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), the MDMK, the CPI, the CPI(M), the VCK and the former Union minister G K Vaasan-led Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) had fought the 2016 Assembly polls, but failed to win a single of the 234 seats in Tamil Nadu.

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