Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, declared its support for Congress candidates in the upcoming Telangana Assembly polls on November 30.
The official announcement, issued by the DMK high command, instructed party workers in Telangana to actively contribute to the victory of candidates representing the Secular Progressive Alliance.
However, what caught the attention of political circles was the choice of language in the announcement. Unlike previous statements that referred to the alliance as the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), this time, the DMK opted to use the term Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA). This shift in terminology hints at visible friction within the opposition coalition.
This move marks the first instance since the inception of the INDIA bloc in June that the DMK chose to refer to the alliance as the Secular Progressive Alliance in an official communique. The decision to back Congress in Telangana and the subsequent use of different alliance names in two statements for the same purpose underscore the party’s apparent dilemma in managing relationships with its allies.
The Left parties, part of the INDIA bloc, have decided to go solo in Telangana after failed attempts to form a united front with the Congress. While leaders like Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar openly expressed their disaffection with the Congress, it is noteworthy that DMK’s Chief Minister and party president, M K Stalin, hinted at or acknowledged a lack of cohesion within the INDIA bloc.
The official DMK handle on the microblogging site ‘X’ released an English translation of the announcement, wherein the alliance was referred to as INDIA instead of SPA. This nuanced approach suggests that the party may be wary of the potential impact the choice of language could have on the alliance’s unity.
The message from the DMK high command directed all wings and cadres in Telangana to collaborate with the Congress party to ensure a significant victory margin for the INDIA bloc candidates in the upcoming 2023 Telangana State Legislative Assembly Election.