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Tamil Nadu: Rift in DMK-Congress alliance over allocation of seats for local body polls

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 16 January 2020, 16:15 IST

The DMK-Congress allinace in the state of Tamil Nadu, impaired due to a difference of opinion over local body polls, has hit another rock bottom with a DMK leader stating that his party is "not bothered at all" if the Congress leaves the coalition.

DMK treasurer Durai Murugan on Wednesday responded to a Congress leader accusing his party of not abiding by coalotion dharma during allocation of seats for the local body elections.

"If they leave the alliance, let them go. What is the harm? We are not bothered if the Congress goes out of the alliance, in particular, I am not concerned," Durai Murugan told reporters.

Queried about if DMK’s vote share would be harmed without Congress, he stated: "No, not at all. Only if they (Congress) have a vote share ours (votes) will get reduced."

Durai Murugan’s statement drew a prompt response from Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, who asked, "Why did not this wisdom dawn before the Vellore parliamentary bye-election?"

The DMK-Congress fall out went rife when Tamil Nadu Congress chief KS Alagiri charged DMK’s MK Stalin of shortchanging the party by not allotting a fair number of posts of local body chiefs. The Congress claimed that it was not allotted any of the 27 district panchayat chief post.

The disconcerted DMK then snubbed an opposition meeting in Delhi called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to explore strategy to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.

It was a flabbergasting turn of event for the one time close associates, mainly as MK Stalin, during last year’s national poll, had been one of the most vociferous supporters of the Congress led alliance with Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister.

DMK’s TR Baalu stated that Mr Alagiri could have steered clear of making a public statement against their chief. "We did not take part in the meeting since our chief was accused of violating coalition dharma. The statement is a direct accusation on the DMK president," Mr Baalu told reporters on Monday.

Mr Alagiri has reportedly felt apologetic about his outburst since then in a meeting with Sonia Gandhi. On whether the allies could move on from the dispute, Mr Baalu said: "Time will tell whether (ties) have returned to the old status or not."

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First published: 16 January 2020, 16:15 IST