After days of hard posturing, the Congress on Sunday finally signed a deal with the DMK to contest in 25 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu to prevent the “communal and sectarian” BJP from making inroads into the southern State. As reported in the FPJ on Sunday, the national party will also field its candidate in Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency where a vacancy was caused following the death of Congress MP H Vasanthakumar, who had tested positive for COVID-19.
AICC secretary in charge for Tamil Nadu Dinesh Gundu Rao, TN Congress Committee president K S Alagiri and Congress Legislature Party leader K R Ramasamy went to the DMK headquarters, Anna Arivalayam in Chennai, on Sunday morning to give finality to the agreement. Alagiri and DMK president M K Stalin signed the pact.
This is the lowest ever seat tally that the Congress would be contesting in the company of its long-time ally since 2006. While it had contested 50 seats in 2006, in 2011 it was allotted 63 but won only five constituencies; and in 2016 from the 41 allocated seats, it managed to win just eight. The poor strike rate in the last two Assembly polls is the reason why the DMK allotted it fewer constituencies now. Besides, the DMK wants to contest in around 180 seats, after a long gap.
Alagiri justified the alliance saying the agenda was to safeguard secularism and stop the BJP’s communal agenda from taking roots in the Dravidian heartland.
“Our leader Rahul Gandhi said that this election is a battle between two ideologies. We have to win no matter what,” said Alagiri. According to him, the BJP had spread like a “disease” and “infiltrated” several parties to weaken them and even poach their leaders and topple governments. It needs to be checkmated.
The ruling AIADMK had tied up with the BJP and the Congress has joined the DMK alliance to stop the BJP from exerting influence in Tamil Nadu.
“The AIADMK should not get another opportunity to form the government. We have to remove forces that are against social justice,” he said. When it comes to pulling a chariot, everyone has to join in and that is what the Congress has done, Alagiri added. Gundu Rao said everyone was happy with the pact as there was a need to save the country from the bigger threat of BJP.