Amid reported strains in ties between Congress and DMK, TNCC President Su Thirunavukarasar on Sunday called on DMDK Chief Vijayakant in Chennai. Though the meeting between the two, which lasted for over 30 minutes, was described as a “courtesy call” by the TNCC Chief, the surprise visit comes in the backdrop of state Congress leaders reportedly expressing unhappiness on lower allocation of seats for the local body polls, which has now been postponed.
“The meeting with him (Vijayakant) is a courtesy call. It is a friendly meeting. We discussed some common issues. He is a long time friend of mine”, Thirunavukarasar told reporters after meeting Vijayakanth. Soon after Thirunavukarasar was appointed as TNCC President, he has been meeting various political leaders, including those of DMK and the Left parties.
He paid a visit to Apollo Hospitals to enquire about the health of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who was admitted on September 22 for fever and dehydration. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had paid a surprise flying visit to the city and enquired about the health status of the hospitalised Chief Minister.
His unexpected visit, which caught Congress circles by surprise, also led to speculation as he had not called on the leader of the party’s ally DMK, 93-year-old Karunanidhi. Thirunavukarasar, however, had rubbished speculation, saying there was no politics behind Gandhi’s visit. He had said the visit to Apollo Hospital was on “humanitarian grounds” and out of “courtesy” to “enquire about the health Jayalalithaa and to offer support if needed.”
DMK along with Congress and several other parties, including Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Indian Union Muslim League, Makkal DMDK contested the assembly elections held in May this year. Though the alliance has been continued for the local body polls, expected to be completed by December, Congress leaders are reportedly miffed over lower allocation of seats to the party by DMK.
Spurning repeated calls by DMK to join its alliance for the assembly polls, Vijayakant chose to form a tie up with the four party People’s Welfare front, which came a cropper in the polls.