CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK leader MK Stalin will coordinate with non-BJP Chief Ministers and other opposition leaders, including from the Congress and the CPM, to form a national platform against the saffron party.
Stalin has already floated the All-India Federation of Social Justice, in which he invited even his political rival and AIADMK leader, O Panneerselvam.
It may be recalled that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had requested Stalin to take the charge in coordinating with non-BJP CMs in the country as well as non-BJP political parties, including the Congress and the CPM.
Senior DMK leader and state Water Works Minister S. Duraimurugan told IANS, "Our Chief Minister is an icon of Dravidian struggle and he has an excellent rapport with almost all the national leaders. He has already commenced speaking to these leaders for a national platform against the BJP and after the urban local body polls are over on February 19, the momentum of this coordination will increase and a national platform against the BJP will soon emerge."
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Subramanian Ramaswamy, former professor of political science at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, who is also a political observer, told IANS, "Stalin is the apt choice for such coordination as he has good rapport with the Congress, CPM, CPI, and other political parties.
"With regard to Mamata Banerjee, both the Congress and the CPM are skeptical about her. But being a seasoned politician, Banerjee knows well that if she allows Stalin to take the centre stage, things would happen, and for the larger interest, she seems to have decided to play the second fiddle."
Former General Secretary of CPI-M, Prakash Karat, who is also the party's politburo member, said in a statement that the broader alliance or rather a broader coordination of opposition political parties will take place only with the presence of the Congress and excluding Congress is not a good move.
This was a direct attack on Banerjee and hence she seems to have taken a back seat and pushed Stalin to take the lead for the coordination.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, according to sources close to him, has already telephoned all the senior leaders, including the Chief Ministers of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra. Sources also said that Stalin has spoken to senior leaders, including Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others.
However, the list of opposition leaders does not include Aravind Kejriwal for the time being.
With Stalin taking the centre stage, he is reminding one of his late father M. Karunanidhi, and his odysseys to Delhi as a kingmaker, in both the NDA and UPA rule at the Centre.