Chennai/New Delhi: The DMK will not align with either long-time UPA partner Congress or the BJP for the 2014 general elections, party chief M. Karunanidhi declared Sunday.
He made the announcement at the DMK’s general council meeting held in Chennai, a party leader told IANS.
The Congress did not comment on the statement by Karunanidhi, whose DMK was a member of the party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) from 2004 to March 2013.
“Except the (A.K.) Antony panel, formed to discuss alliances, no one can comment on the issue,” Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal told IANS in New Delhi.
Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu, however, said they had warned their party leadership that such a situation may arise. They also claimed that the step would not avail the DMK much benefit.
The DMK is the second party from Tamil Nadu to declare that it will not ally with either party for the 2014 elections. Earlier, the ruling AIADMK said it would not align with the two national parties and would go alone.
In his address to the general council, Karunanidhi said former telecom minister A. Raja of DMK was fully blamed for the 2G scam and also referred to the jailing of his daughter and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi in the case, the DMK leader said.
The DMK chief said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now was different from what it was during the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the prime minister.
The general council empowered Karunanidhi and general secretary K. Anbazhagan to decide on alliances for the 2014 general elections.
Several speakers at the meeting said they were opposed to allying with the Congress for 2014, another DMK leader said.
“Several speakers said the party should not align with the Congress to fight the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. They said the party can even go it alone in the elections,” the leader, who did not want to be identified, told IANS.
One member of the council even wanted the party to align with the BJP to fight the elections but not to join the government if the alliance won the polls.
In his reaction, a Congress leader, who declined to be named, told IANS: “He (Karunanidhi) knows 2G is not a creation of our party.”
On the reasons given by Karunanidhi for parting ways, the Congress leader said: “This was there for a long time. The DMK could have gone much earlier if it wanted. The party was there with Congress till the end and derived the needed benefit.”
He was referring to the support given by the Congress to the DMK to get Kanimozhi re-elected to the Rajya Sabha this year.
“Breaking away from the Congress may not give DMK the expected political dividend as people are aware that the latter was with us till the end. The break away will surely benefit the AIADMK,” the Congress leader said.
Another senior Congress leader of the state told IANS the development was expected.
“We told our central leaders six months back that the DMK may not be with Congress for the 2014 elections,” said the leader, who too spoke on condition of anonymity.
The DMK walked out of the UPA in March this year, expressing its dissatisfaction at the way the government was handling the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.
However, it later patched up with the Congress and Kanimozhi was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha with the Congress support.
The DMK’s general council meeting was held to discuss the party’s strategy for the Lok Sabha polls and other issues.