Ghulam Nabi Azad to formalise Congress-DMK election tie-up next week

During his trip to Chennai, Mr Azad is also expected to meet senior party leaders and discuss the Assembly elections.

New Delhi: Taking the first step in reviving ties with DMK, the Congress will fly down its troubleshooter and senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to Chennai next week to meet M. Karunanidhi to formalise the alliance between two parties for the ensuing elections to Tamil Nadu Assembly.

Mr Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, accompanied by party general secretary Mukul Wasnik in-charge of Tamil Nadu affairs, is expected to be in Chennai on February 14 or the following day to take forward the tie-up between the two parties that shared power at the Centre from May, 2004 to March, 2013, top Congress sources told Deccan Chronicle.

They said Mr Azad, who was the general secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu during the 2009 Lok Sabha and 2011 Assembly elections, had already spoken to Mr Karunanidhi over phone and conveyed his party’s decision to accept his invitation to join the DMK front.

During his meeting, Mr Azad is also expected to deliver messages from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi to the DMK chief. A formal announcement of alliance is expected on the very same day, sources said.

It is learnt that the DMK has asked the Congress do its bit in convincing actor-politician Vijayakant to join the DMK-Congress front. Mr Azad is known to enjoy cordial relations with Mr Karunanidhi and senior DMK leaders and is best known for bringing a truce between the two parties when the Dravidian party decided to pull out of the UPA Government after the massive victory in 2009. DMK had announced that it would just provide outside support to the UPA-II government, but Mr Azad brought about a truce.

Mr Azad was also part of the delegation that met Mr Karunanidhi when the latter threatened to withdraw from the UPA-II government in protest against the “insensitive” attitude towards Sri Lankan Tamils.

During his trip to Chennai, Mr Azad is also expected to meet senior party leaders like P Chidambaram and K.V. Thangkabalu and discuss the Assembly elections, primarily in an attempt to iron out the multiple divisions within the party in the state. Mr Azad is also likely to announce a coordination team for the elections.
DC had on Sunday reported that the Congress has finally decided to revive its alliance with the DMK after a gap of almost three years.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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