Stalin, who had welcomed the meeting between Gandhi and Naidu, said that it was important that all the regional parties come together to defeat the BJP, which has been attempting to crush states’ autonomy.
Political parties in Tamil Nadu have rallied behind the principal opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and begun talks to forge an alliance against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu is scheduled to meet DMK president M.K. Stalin on Friday.
Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, general secretary Sitaram Yechury will meet Stalin next week.
Naidu, who has been holding a series of discussions with various regional party leaders, met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi last week. The Congress and TDP have come together to contest next month’s assembly elections in Telangana.
Stalin, who had welcomed the meeting between Gandhi and Naidu, said that it was important that all the regional parties come together to defeat the BJP, which has been attempting to crush states’ autonomy. “They have my support,” he said.
“Corrupt, autocratic and divisive forces are destroying the democratic fabric of our country. It is the need of the hour for all non-BJP parties to come together on a common platform,” the DMK president had tweeted.
The CPI, CPM, Thol. Thirumavalavan-led Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, and Vaiko’s Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) have also decided to join the DMK, which is an ally of the Congress in Tamil Nadu.
The DMK had released a list of senior leaders to take charge of election-related work in all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring Union territory of Puducherry. The DMK’s executive committee met last month to deliberate on its poll strategy and begin talks regarding the party’s allies.
Meanwhile, the Left parties and the Congress have rejected the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s interest to ally his newly formed party with them. Actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan had also expressed his interest in allying with the Congress if the DMK-Congress alliance breaks. However, Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu have said there is no “question of snapping ties with the DMK”.
The state is also gearing up for byelections to 20 assembly seats. Last month, the Madras high court upheld the disqualification of 18 MLAs, thus clearing the decks for the bypolls. 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.
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