CHENNAI: DMK working president MK Stalin on Wednesday publicly endorsed, for the first time, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to bring regional parties together under a non-BJP third front.Stalin’s tweet read, “DMK has always stood for the unity of regional parties and stronger federal co-operation. I endorse the efforts of @MamataOfficial (Mamata Banerjee’s tweeter handle) to bring together various political parties to oppose the autocratic and antidemocratic rule of the BJP.”
Though the tweet named and targeted only the BJP, what was left unsaid was whether the DMK was making a tactical shift away from the Congress-led unified opposition front. While DMK was seen as a strong ally of the Congress until recently, DMK did not sign the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Even when UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi hosted a dinner for all opposition party leaders in March, Stalin did not attend it and instead sent the party MP Kanimozhi.
The DMK had so far maintained a studied silence on the issue of the third front proposed by Mamata, who has left the door open to the Congress joining the alliance.Derek O’Brien, a leader in Mamata’s All India Trinamool Congress, said in March that Mamata Banerjee had a 12-minute conversation with Stalin about the regional parties joining together to form a powerful bloc of 75 MPs in Lok Sabha.
She was reportedly planning to travel to Chennai to meet Stalin around the same time, but the meeting could not happen. But on Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee promptly responded to Stalin’s tweet saying, “Thank you. We extend our full support.”Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had mooted a non-BJP non-Congress third front and met Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata to discuss the possibility of forming such a combine.