The DMK president M K Stalin’s hour-long meeting with Telengana Praja Samithi leader and Chief Minister K C Chandrasekhara Rao early this week has made him open to the charge that he is in touch with the BJP for a possible post-poll alliance should Congress president Rahul Gandhi led opposition fails to make it.
He has however, vehemently denied the charge made by Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and even said he is prepared to quit politics if she proves he is in touch with the BJP. And Tamilisai herself has backtracked in the face of such a ferocious reaction and said she made the comment on the basis of information available to her.
The war of words between the two exposes what has long been suspected—that Rao who was till recently supporting Prime Minister Modi has met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and DMK chief M K Stalin only to wean them away from the Congress with the bait that these regional parties can play a bigger role at the Centre if they break away.
Stalin knew what the game plan was. That was why when Rao came to Tamil Nadu last week, he avoided him, busying himself with the by-election campaign. When Rao came calling the second time, Stalin met him at DMK party office. Even at the meeting Stalin ruled out a third front and asked Rao instead to back Rahul for Prime Minister. But he did not say that in public but let it be known through a tweet by party spokesman Saravanan.
If only Stalin had been open about the purpose of Rao’s meeting, he would not be in the position he is now. Instead, he chose to obfuscate by saying that Rao came to Tamil Nadu to visit temples and made a courtesy call on him.
“ Courtesy call for three hours”, asked senior AIADMK Minister D Jayakumar sarcastically. He also recalled the track record of DMK under Karunanidhi when it enjoyed power at the Centre in the Vajpayee Government for five years and ditched the BJP on the eve of 2004, joined the Congress led UPA and enjoyed power and pelf for another ten years. It ditched the Congress 2014 which Stalin revived for 2019.
Such being the dubious record, Stalin has to live down his father’s opportunistic politics.He himself while proposing Rahul as Prime Minister candidate, recalled the “good work” done to Tamil Nadu during the UPA rule. In plain terms, it meant plum berths in any Rahul ministry.
In a rear-guard action, Stalin has said that he not only proposed Rahul but also addressed rally in Kolkatta organised by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in which he declared unequivocally that the “fascist Modi Government” should be sent packing.
Stalin has said that Tamilisai’s accusation shows the BJP, in the face of defeat, is desperately trying to sow confusion in the ranks of the opposition. Something he should have made open when Rao met him.