The DMK, which is spearheading the movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed National Registry of Citizens (NRC), on Monday skipped a meeting organised in New Delhi by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to coordinate the strategy of the Opposition parties and by Opposition ruled States.
Though senior DMK leader and Member of Parliament TR Baalu was in Delhi, he stayed away on instruction from party boss M K Stalin. Baalu, who has since returned to Chennai, told reporters at DMK headquarters on Tuesday that his party skipped the meeting to convey their displeasure to Sonia with Tamil Nadu Congress. He said " we were hurt by the remark made by (TNCC president) KS Alagiri that the DMK has violated the coalition dharma" during the local body elections.
Alagiri, a protégé of senior P Chidambaram, was piqued over “the raw deal" in seats sharing. Chidambaram himself said Alagiri might have the made the remark in anger and the alliance with the Congress would continue. Following this, Alagiri also redacted his statement.
It's too local an issue for the DMK to boycott a national level meeting of anti-BJP parties that too on an issue which is dear to its heart and over which there is nationwide unrest. In fact, during the just concluded Tamil Nadu Assembly, Stalin as Leader of the motion sought to move a private resolution like the one adopted by the Kerala Assembly to ask the Centre to withdraw CAA and drop NRC. It's a different matter the Speaker is still sitting on his request. Such being the case, the boycott of the Delhi meeting over a minor tiff with Tamil Nadu Congress by the DMK is baffling.
The DMK is not the only absentee. Other regional leaders like Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress, Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party, Udhav Thakray and Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aasmi Party also stayed away. Except for Shiv Sena and the DMK, the others are rivals to the Congress at State level.