Within hours of dismissing talk of a Federal Front after his meeting with Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) founder K. Chandrashekhar Rao yesterday, DMK President MK Stalin was the talk of the town on Tuesday May 14 after BJP TN president Tamilisai Soundararajan revealed that the DMK chief is in talks with the BJP and has been in touch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The DMK is leading the alliance in Tamil Nadu which has the Congress contesting in 9 seats, 10 including Pondicherry.
Earlier speaking to the media, Stalin had said a Federal or a third front was not possible in the given political situation. On the Telangana CM’s Tamil Nadu visit with special emphasis to meet him, Stalin said it was a courtesy call and not a political one. Speculation was rife that the TRS chief was on a tour of Tamil Nadu to build consensus for a Federal Front of regional parties, particularly from the South, and that this would be a non-Congress, non-BJP front. Stalin said KCR came to Tamil Nadu to visit temples. The DMK chief said the chances of a third front will be known only after May 23 when the Lok Sabha elections 2019 results will be announced.
Stalin said the DMK’s alliance with the Congress was unbreakable. On several occasions, the DMK president has declared that the United Progressive Alliance name Congress president Rahul Gandhi name as its prime ministerial candidate ahead of the elections. Yesterday, a section of the media was flush with reports that KCR will try to push Stalin into supporting the federal front while the DMK spokesperson tweeted that Stalin had asked KCR to support the Congress if the party was within striking distance of power.
KCR, on the other hand, has been at the forefront of the non-Congress, non-BJP Third Front with attempts to strengthen regional parties to create a powerful bloc that could play a significant role in government formation in a situation of a hung verdict.
Earlier, the Telangana chief minister had also reached to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan of the CPM, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress. YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy had also promised his support to KCR.
The DMK, which traces its origin to EVR Periyar’s rationalist, anti-Brahmin ideology, has been staunch in its secular outlook despite being part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee NDA government ever since the DMK’s bete noire, the now deceased, J. Jayalalithaa brought down the NDA government in 1999. The DMK has been with the UPA since the 2004 alliance and was part of both UPA 1 and UPA 2 governments.
Sources also suggest that because of KCR’s perceived closeness with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the regional parties have lost faith in the leader which has eventually dented his credibility among them, hence blurring his mega-coalition hopes with regional parties.