CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday said the party was with the DMK for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, stopping short of announcing an alliance with the MK Stalin-led party. After meeting Stalin at his residence in Chennai, Yechury urged all secular-minded parties to come together, saying “we have a common objective”.
“Alliances will always take place at the state level first. On that basis, a national alliance will take shape. We will be with the DMK in TN in the upcoming elections. We are together on the issue of saving the unity, integrity and harmony of the people of India and the country’s constitutional institutions,” Yechury said.
This is the first time that the CPM has publicly expressed its interest on siding with the DMK-led Opposition alliance in Tamil Nadu. The Left Front party was in a fix owing to the stand of its senior leader Prakash Karat, who is opposed to entering into an alliance with Congress in it.
While the DMK, along with Congress and IUML, already constitutes a powerful opposition in the assembly, two more possible additions to the DMK front may be the Dalit party, Thol Thirumavalavan’s VCK, and CPI.
The development comes three days after TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Stalin as part of his efforts to form a grand alliance to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Naidu has already met former Prime Minister Deve Gowda and Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy, besides Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
The meeting also assumes importance at a time when the state is also gearing up for bye-elections to 20 assembly seats. Last month, the Madras High Court upheld the disqualification of 18 MLAs. Two other seats are also vacant, including the one held by late DMK chief M. Karunanidhi. The election dates for these assembly constituencies are yet to be announced.