COIMBATORE/TIRUPUR: The bustling industrial centres of Coimbatore and Tirupur took a pause on Saturday to welcome a guest from Delhi — Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. While large crowds gathered across these cities in rapt attention to hear what the leader had to say about the upcoming Assembly elections, missing conspicuously was the grand old party’s dearest ally in all of South India — the DMK.
This is in stark contrast to Gandhi’s visit earlier this month to Madurai to witness a jallikattu event, when he was accompanied by DMK’s youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin. When asked about the absence of their allies, even to welcome the Gandhi scion in the State, Congress leaders dismissed any friction, saying it was because this event was being organised by itself to display its strength against the BJP, which has been boasting about its strong influence in the Kongu belt.
“That apart, alliance partners were not invited because we have a lot of internal issues to discuss,” said a senior Congress leader. None of that, however, detracted Rahul Gandhi from the rally. After launching a tirade against the Centre and the BJP for “ignoring Tamil Nadu and the needs of the Tamils,” he stepped out of his caravan and into a tea shop to interact with the excited public.