Stalin rejects third front without Congress; says no to post-poll tie-up

DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Wednesday rejected the idea of a third front, an alliance without the Congress, and a post-electoral coalition for next year’s Lok Sabha election.

“An alliance without the Congress should be rejected as it would not succeed. An alliance after the election will also be practically impossible. Talk of a third front is pointless. I humbly request all the political parties opposed to the BJP to understand this simple electoral arithmetic and stand united,” he said, addressing a mammoth public meeting organised to mark his 70 th birthday celebration.

The meeting was attended by Congress president Mallikarjun Karge, National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akilesh Yadav, and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav.

Mr. Stalin made it clear that “who should not come to power is crucial and not who should form the government after the 2024 Lok Sabha election” while calling upon the regional parties not to allow “State politics” come in the way of unity at the national level. “We will be the losers then,” he warned.

Mr. Stalin said he was happy because it was not just his birthday, but it had marked a new beginning of new politics in India. He also said he valued as the best birthday gift the resolution adopted at the Congress plenum that it was ready to work with like-minded parties based on a constructive programme.

“We should politically defeat the BJP which seeks to create a unitary and autocratic government through communal and fascist ideas. All political parties opposed to the BJP should consider it a single-minded pursuit. If we acquire the feeling of unity, we can assume that we will win,” he said.

Mr. Stalin said that what the Opposition parties waging was an ideological war and the Lok Sabha election next year would be the battle field where the battle against the BJP would be won. “Let my birthday be the camp to chalk out the strategy for the battle against the BJP. Let the national leaders here carry the message to Delhi. Convey the message to the entire sub-continent. Insist on the importance of unity and create a base for victory. Let us sow it now. Let the March next year be the harvest season for the all Indian politics,” he said.

Recalling his speech in a meeting in 2021, which was attended by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Stalin stressed the need for forming an alliance as cohesive and united as Tamil Nadu. “Political parties should bury their differences and join hands against the BJP,” he said.

Mr. Stalin also touched upon various issues to reiterate the argument that the BJP-led government at the Centre was against the interests of States ruled by Opposition parties. “Though it announced AIIMS for Tamil Nadu and laid the foundation four years ago, nothing moved beyond a single brick. So far, they have allotted just ₹12 crore. It amounts to cheating 8 crore people of Tamil Nadu. In the name of humiliating Stalin, they are actually humiliating the people of Tamil Nadu,” he alleged.

He also said in a jocular manner that the Tamil Nadu Governor was not giving his consent to the Bill to ban online rummy because he did not want to ban a game (game of dice, which also amounts to gambling) that found reference in the Mahabharatha.

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