DMK Rules Out Joining Any Regional Leaders’ Front For 2019 Lok Sabha Elections
DMK Rules Out Joining Any Regional Leaders’ Front For 2019 Lok Sabha ElectionsTamil Nadu DMK. (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) will not align with any regional party in the country in the 2019 elections to the Lok Sabha, the party’s principal secretary S Duraimurugan said.

“I can categorically say that DMK will not join the regional group that has been floated by Mamata (Banerjee). DMK will not be there in any third front if it is floated by some regional party,” he was quoted as saying in an interview to a daily.

Tamil evening paper Malai Malar interpreted the statement as the party wanting to continue its alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections.

However, indications are that the DMK is feeling that it is having to carry the Congress on its shoulders and it was a burden for which it was having to pay heavily in the elections. In May 2016 elections, DMK won most of its contests with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), whereas the Congress lost most places where it took on the ruling party. Congress was able to win only nine of the 41 seats it contested, something that DMK and its cadre feel cost them the elections.

The DMK leader’s statement is almost grounding the concept of a third front even before it could begin. Regional leaders like Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Maywati, Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal and Telugu Desam’s N Chandrababu Naidu have been talking of coming together to form a non-BJP, non-Congress front for the 2019 Parliament elections. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has also been talking of a similar front but has all of a sudden gone quiet on the initiative.

In fact, it was Rao who first floated the idea and went across the country meeting leaders like Banerjee and DMK’s working president M K Stalin in this connection. However, the proposal seems to be a non-starter with some leaders averse to Mamata becoming a prime ministerial candidate.

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