The Congress high command is learnt to have given the green signal to its Tamil Nadu unit to start informal discussions with the DMK to prepare the ground for forging an alliance for the Assembly elections in April-May. DMK had snapped ties with the Congress in 2013 over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue and sources said the two parties are now looking to revive their alliance.
Sources in the DMK were confident that the “alliance will materialise” but at the same time noted that it is hoping to get actor Vijayakant’s DMDK on board. The actor, however, is keeping both the Congress and DMK and even the BJP guessing about his political move. DMDK was part of a multi-party alliance stitched together by the BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
But that alliance is no more there. MDMK has joined hands with the Left and the VCK to form a front. S Ramadoss’s PMK is undecided but has given signals that it will not align with the DMK and has also indicated that he wants his party to head an alliance and his son Anbumani Ramadoss projected as the CM candidate.
Sources in the Congress said the high command could send a senior leader to Tamil Nadu in the next fortnight to meet the DMK leadership to give the back-channel negotiations a formal tone. Tamil Nadu Congress chief E V K S Elangovan is more than keen to join hands with the DMK and most of the top leaders from the state hold the same view.
The Congress has always been a minor player in Tamil Nadu politics, but had a captive vote bank of about 5 or 6 per cent. Sources in the DMK said the Congress is now a much more weakened force after the exit of G K Vasan, but admits it still has some inroads among the minorities. DMK, sources said, was hoping to get Vasan too.
Though a minor section of the TNCC leadership advocates going solo, sources said the high command is inclined to join hands with the DMK.
But the DMK’s assessment that the Congress is now a much more weakened force could impact the Congress’s bargaining power. DMK sources said the Congress should not expect to get anywhere near that the previous figure of 63 seats it was given— it eventually won five — this time.