Duraimurugan hospitalised, discharged

Cong-DMK fight intensifies, DMK says it’s not worried about Cong’s exit from alliance

A day after it said only time will tell whether ties with the Congress would go back to normalcy, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Wednesday upped the ante, saying if the national party wants to quit the alliance, it can do so.

enior leader and DMK treasurer Duraimurugan on Wednesday said his party’s vote-bank would not be affected even if the Congress chooses to walk out of the alliance.

“Those (Congress) who want to leave us, can do so. What’s there for us to lose? We don’t care about the Congress exiting the alliance. I specifically do not care. The grand old party’s move would not have any impact on our votes. Only if it existed (Congress vote bank) should we have any concern,” he said at a Pongal festival event organised by party cadres in Vellore.

The DMK on Tuesday said it skipped a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress on CAA, NRC and NPR since its party chief MK Stalin was accused of violating coalition dharma over local body polls.

A day after avoiding participating in the meet for showcasing opposition unity, the DMK was also non-committal on restoration of ties with its old ally, notwithstanding the regret reportedly expressed by Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief KS Alagiri.

Meanwhile, Alagiri again sought to downplay the widening rift which appeared to heading for a break-up. Going soft on the DMK top leadership, he told reporters in Chennai that the reason for his party not getting some seats vis-a-vis the recent civic polls was not due to the Dravidian party’s high command.

However, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram hit out at Duraimurugan and asked him about the Vellore Lok Sabha by-election in which the latter’s son, DM Kathir Anand, was declared winner. At the time, the two parties were in alliance.

On January 10, Alagiri had said that Congress was not alloted a fair number of posts of local bodies chiefs by the lead partner DMK and this went against “coalition dharma”.

DMK Parliamentary Party leader and former Union Minister T R Baalu said only time will tell whether the alliance between the two parties will continue or not, Alagiri sought to downplay the rift and said the DMK
and the Congress were firmly standing hand-in-hand.