CHENNAI: Following calls by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee regarding fielding a common candidate to contest against the BJP's nominee for the upcoming Presidential elections, DMK chief MK Stalin convened an urgent consultative meeting with second-rung leaders of the party at DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam on Sunday.
Among those at the meeting to draw up a strategy for the poll were ministers Duraimurugan, KN Nehru, and K Ponmudy, and MPs TR Baalu and A Raja. Being the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha and with 10 members in the Rajya Sabha, the DMK is set to play a key role in the opposition camp.
Sources said the DMK has more than 63,000 votes among a total of a little over 10 lakh votes, and hence, the meeting was convened to ask the second-rung leaders about preparing the party's strategy after keenly monitoring the moves within the BJP camp.
So far, only Mamata Banerjee has scheduled a meeting at her Delhi residence on June 15. Though the party is in alliance with the Congress, with an objective of uniting all opposition parties for the presidential poll, a call on sending a representative to Mamata's meeting will be taken based on the political scenario.
During the meeting, the chief minister told the MPs to keep an eye on the moves of even the political parties that just have a lone MLA or MP, and pass on the information to the high command as soon as possible since the BJP needs just a few thousand extra votes to cross the magic number and bag the Presidential post.
Stalin further told the MPs to think about the possibility of cross-voting and the impact it would have on the election for the pivotal post. He also discussed caste, religion, and region equations regarding fielding a common candidate on behalf of the opposition camp.
A discussion was held on framing a strategy to include parties such as the YSRCP and TDP in Andhra Pradesh, and the TRS and Congress in Telangana, among other parties in various States.
However, the DMK said it would align itself with the Congress, but also take efforts to bring all opposition parties under an umbrella either to win the presidential seat or at least give a tough fight to the BJP's candidate.
YSR Congress, TDP and TRS to be roped in?
A discussion was held on framing a strategy to include parties such as the YSRCP and TDP in AP, and the TRS and Congress in Telangana, among other parties in various States