Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam leader N Chandrababu Naidu is scheduled to meet DMK president M K Stalin in Chennai on Friday as part of his effort to bring all regional parties along with the Congress under a united front to take on the BJP ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections.
Naidu, who met Janata Dal (S) leaders H D Kumaraswamy and former Minister Deve Gowda in Bengaluru on Thursday, is flying to Chennai from Vijayawada on Friday evening to meet Stalin at his residence.
The meeting, scheduled for 6.30 p.m. is expected to last more than an hour.
Naidu, has already met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders like Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Sharad Pawar of the NCP, Akilesh Yadav of SP and Mayawati of BSP.
While the SP and BSP are ranged against the Congress in UP, the DMK has alliance with it in Tamil Nadu.
Even before Naidu started this initiative, Stalin along with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamol Congress leader Mamata Banerjee mooted the idea of a common front against the Modi Government.
Banerjee, who initially proposed a non-Congress, non-BJP third front has since come round to making it a federal front in which the Congress also will have a place provided it is ready to work under regional parties which are strong in their respective States. In return, she has said the Congress should show the same spirit of accommodation with regional parties in States where it is strong.
The Congress has already shown it is amenable to the idea by letting the JD (S) form the Government in Karnataka mainly to keep the BJP out.
In Tamil Nadu, the Congress has been an ally of the DMK since the days of the UPA in 2004. What role it will play in the proposed front will depend on its performance in the Assembly elections in MP, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh next month.
Stalin used the birthday of his father M Karunanidhi in 2017 to bring non-BJP leaders to Chennai for a public meeting.
The meeting was attended by Rahul Gandhi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitesh Kumar, Telugu Desam MP Jayadev Galla,Umar Abdullah of the NC, D Raja of the CPI and Sitaram Yechuri of the CPM.
The significant omission in Naidu’s initiative are the left parties. They are ruling only in Kerala. In West Bengal they are ranged against Mamata Banerjee.
The two left parties are part of the DMK led front, though they have no representation in the Assembly.
Stalin has no exposure to national politics, unlike his father M Karunanidhi. His funeral was attended by stalwarts like Farooq Abdullah, Chandrababu Naidu, Telengana Rashtriya Samnithi chief and Chief Minister Chandrasekhara Rao and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
It shows Stalin will be the pivot of the anti-BJP front in Tamil Nadu.