DMK chief seeks pact with Cong

Wednesday 06th January 2016 05:21 EST

Chennai: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party said that it was focusing on building alliances for what was likely to be a multi-cornered fight in 2016. Party chief M Karunanidhi publicly invited Vijayakanth last week, for an alliance just when it seemed as if it would be a toss-up between BJP and Left VCK-MDMK. He later sought to assure that he won't leave Congress, a staunch ally during the United Progressive Alliance time.

“DMK and Congress are natural partners. DMK needs as many allies as possible if they want to win the assembly elections. They may have their differences, like they have had in the past, but they will get together if they want to win in 2016,” said political analyst Gnani Sankaran. After losing the 2014 elections, the state party was only too glad to hear the news. Karunanidhi's invitation to Congress may revive an alliance between the two parties that lasted a decade, ending only before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when DMK was keen on distancing itself from the scam-tainted UPA and due to differences over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

DMK's alliance with the Grand Old Party began with the split of Congress in 1969, when the Karunanidhi-led DMK backed Indira Gandhi citing her reforms. DMK fought the 1971 election in alliance with Congress (Indira) and won a vast majority of 184 seats out of 234. Focused on Lok Sabha, Indira Gandhi agreed to concede all the seats to DMK in the assembly elections at a time when Congress had the largest vote share in the state. Since then, Congress has preferred to ally with one regional party or the other in the elections, barring in 1989 when it went alone and the move came a cropper. Left adrift by DMK, Congress went alone in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and did not win a single seat.

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