Chennai: Senior Congress leader and Leader in Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad announced on Saturday that the party will contest the upcoming Assembly election in Tamil Nadu in an alliance with DMK.
Azad, after meeting the DMK chief Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai, announced the news to reporters, “DMK and Congress will fight Tamil Nadu assembly elections in alliance. Our mail goal is to put in place a government led by the DMK.”
When asked about the party's strategy on seat sharing, the senior Congress leader said that further discussion will take place with DMK leaders on the issue. He said that the election would be fought under the DMK leadership and put on Karunanidhi's party the responsibility of roping in more constituents into this alliance, including DMDK.
As to what had changed between 2016 and 2013 when DMK snapped ties accusing the Congress of betraying Sri Lankan Tamils, Azad said that there were "compulsions and pressures" in politics and that the two parties had won elections together in the past also.
The DMK-Congress split had also come against the backdrop of the arrests of former Union Minister A Raja and Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP, in the alleged spectrum allocation scam.
Congress had contested the last Lok Sabha elections on its own and had drawn a blank. It had contested the last Assembly elections along with DMK but secured just five seats. Assembly strength in the state is 234.
Congress is out of power in the key southern state for nearly five decades and has generally been aligning with either of the Dravidian party- DMK or AIADMK. It has contested alone too but without much success.
A Congress delegation led by Azad on Saturday met DMK chief Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai after which it was decided that the two former allies will join hands once again for the Assembly polls, to be held in April-May this year.
Earlier, reports were doing the rounds that the two parties were looking to revive their alliance and DMK chief Karunanidhi has invited Congress senior leaders at his residence to 'materialise the ties'.
The DMK came out of the UPA government in 2013 charging the then government in Centre of not handling the Sri Lankan Tamils issue properly.