The seat-discussion in Tamil Nadu has created a rift between Congress and DMK, as the latter is only willing to give the Congress 21 seats. This is despite the intervention of former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other Congress leaders. “We have expressed our side of the matter, and more discussion will follow,” said Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President KS Alagiri.
However, sources within the DMK say that the party president MK Stalin is not wrong to make such a claim. The Congress had contested 41 seats in the 2016 Assembly elections but could only win eight seats. The party had also featured an abysmal performance during the Bihar 2020 elections, where they only won from 19 seats off a total of 70 seats allotted to them. The recent incident in Puducherry also does not instil a lot of confidence, adds the DMK source. Voices within the party claim that their victory chance reduces by giving more seats to Congress.
A group consisting of Chandy, Dinesh Gundu Rao, and Randeep Surjewala met with Stalin as per the instructions of Rahul Gandhi. However, the DMK leadership criticised Congress for not putting up a stronger front. They asked how Congress could stand up against the BJP when they couldn’t even keep their MLAs from joining the saffron party. The DMK is planning to contest the Puducherry assembly election alone, but a recent incident has caused friction within their ranks.
DMK MLA KS Masthan has donated Rs 11,000 to the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, sparking debates within the ranks. He told a news agency that he couldn’t deny when his friend had asked him for the donation. He added that he had donated money to many temples and that the problem is not God but those who fight in the name of God. Interestingly, the DMK had been vocal against the demolition of Babri Masjid. Sources in the party claimed that Masthan’s action was equivalent to accepting BJP and RSS.