Chennai: By meeting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi Sunday, DMK president M K Stalin has renewed his party’s ties with the Congress, taking the friendship forward to the next generation.
Ever since Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam patriarch M Karunanidhi’s demise in August this year, there were doubts over the smooth continuance of the alliance between the Dravidian party and the grand old party of India, as critics were skeptical about Stalin and Rahul Gandhi, the new generation leaders of the DMK and Congress, sharing the same rapport of Karunanidhi and Sonia.
But Stalin has proved them wrong. And the timing of his meeting with Sonia and Rahul to personally invite them for Karunanidhi’s statue unveiling function, scheduled for 16 December in Chennai, was perfect.
On Sonia’s 72nd birthday 9 December which also happens to be the 100th day of his being elected as DMK president, Stalin, accompanied by his sister and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, and senior DMK leaders T R Baalu and A Raja (both Union Ministers in the UPA governments), met the Gandhis at their residence in the capital, conveyed his wishes to the UPA chief, handed over invitations for the Statue unveiling and ‘discussed a range of issues’.
Soon after the meeting, Rahul tweeted: “Shri Stalin and senior members of the DMK, visited Sonia Ji in Delhi today, to wish her on her birthday. We had a warm & cordial meeting & discussed a range of issues.”
“I look forward to continuing our dialogue & to strengthening our alliance, that has stood the test of time,” he added.
Stalin replied promptly by tweeting: “Thank you Thiru @RahulGandhi for your warm words. Like minded ideologies lead to meaningful discussions and fruitful outcomes. The Congress and DMK alliance will always work towards strengthening the unity and inclusivity of our country.”
Earlier, he greeted Sonia by posting: “On behalf of DMK, I wish Sonia Gandhi a happy birthday. Sonia is well known for her commitments towards the principles of secularism. When DMK government ruled TN between 2006 and 2011, Sonia made a platform for the Tamil language to attain the classical language status.”
If sources are to be believed, besides discussing alliance matters, Stalin also took up the Mekedatu issue with Sonia. “Stalin requested Sonia and Rahul to advise the Karnataka Congress, which is supporting the Kumaraswamy government there, not to back the Mekedatu project which would affect the livelihood of Tamilnadu farmers,” sources say.
They add: “For more than 30 minutes, Stalin, Sonia and Rahul discussed a wide range of issues. The political climate of Tamilnadu and the Mekedatu issues were the major topics.”
Political observers feel that the maiden visit of Stalin to Delhi after taking over as DMK supremo was a fruitful one. And all eyes are now on the Karunanidhi statue inaugural event 16 December, which will witness Stalin sharing the dais with national leaders, including Sonia and Rahul.