DMK miffed with TN Congress chief’s ‘party was cheated for 57 years’ remark

Chennai, May 16 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Congress President K. Selvaperunthagai’s remark that the party has been cheated for the past 57 years might trigger a row in among the INDIA bloc constituents in the southern state.

Addressing an election rally in Dharmpuri on Wednesday night, Selvaperunthagai also asked how long the Congress will have to seek alms for seats from another party, adding that it was high time the Congress stopped the ‘betrayal’ meted out to the party since 1967.

“From asking for seats during elections, the Congress party should grow to the stature of allocating constituencies to its alliance partners. We waited patiently for the last 57 years, and now the party cadres should work hard to realise the dream of Kamaraj rule in Tamil Nadu,” Selvaperunthagai said.

He added, “How long can we seek alms for seats from another party? Rahul Gandhi was worried about the party’s current scenario when he visited the state. Once the Congress used to allocate seats to other parties, and the same should happen again in Tamil Nadu.”

Selvaperunthagai’s speech can create problems in the INDIA bloc in Tamil Nadu in which both the DMK and the Congress are allies.

While senior leaders of the DMK refrained from responding in public, in private they said the statements of Selvaperunthagai made from a public platform were quite unacceptable.

A senior DMK leader told IANS on condition of anonymity, “I don’t know in what context the TNCC President made such a statement. The ground reality is the Congress is not even entitled to the nine seats the DMK allocated the party for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

“DMK, the largest political party in Tamil Nadu, contested only 22 seats, so this statement of the Congress leader is not fair. If the Congress is not growing among the public, it is for them to do introspection rather than making such public statements.”

When contacted, several senior leaders of the DMK said that while party President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is unlikely to comment on Selvaperunthagai’s remarks, he would communicate the matter to the Congress high command.

Some second-rung leaders of the DMK told IANS that the Congress did not even have booth committees in most of the Lok Sabha seats they contested in the state, and it was the DMK cadres who worked for the party candidates at the grassroots level. so such public statements from the state Congress chief were quite unacceptable.

In February 1967, the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu for the first time after the party led by iconic Dravidian leader C.N. Annadurai trounced the ruling Congress led by M. Bhaktavalsam.

The Congress has not formed a government in Tamil Nadu since then.

–IANS

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