Chennai: The Congress may be the leader of the United Progressive Alliance at the national level. But, when it comes to Tamilnadu, the DMK is the ‘big brother’ under whose leadership the alliance will soon be facing the Lok Sabha elections. It is at this crucial juncture that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has appointed K S Alagiri as Tamilnadu Congress Committee’s president, replacing S Thirunavukkarasar.
Now, DMK president M K Stalin, known for his differences with his big brother M K Alagiri, will have to deal with this Alagiri.
Congress sources say Alagiri, who had served as MLA and MP, is a talented speaker with strong negotiation skills. “This is one of the reasons behind Rahul ticking Alagiri’s name for the State Congress chief post. The Congress high command wants to get as many seats as possible from the DMK and Alagiri is entrusted with this task,” sources say.
Though Peter Alphonse was the front-runner for the TNCC president post, Alagiri emerged winner because of Alphonse’s friendship with DMK leaders. “Rahul wanted someone who could do better bargaining with the DMK but without affecting the smooth relationship between the two parties. Thus came Alagiri to the forefront, with the backing of Congress veteran and former Union minister P Chidambaram,” sources add.
The initial vibes between Stalin and Alagiri appear to be good. “Karunanidhi and Sonia shared a great rapport. Likewise, Stalin and Rahul are in very good terms now. Stalin was the first to propose Rahul as the Prime Minister candidate. I don’t see any issues in the seat sharing talks. The DMK is the natural ally of the Congress. I will strive hard for the success of the alliance in all 40 seats (39 in Tamilnadu and one in Puducherry),” said Alagiri, a day after he was named TNCC president.
Stalin, for his part, conveyed his wishes to Alagiri and his team of working presidents.
“I convey my heartful wishes to former Lok Sabha MP K S Alagiri for his appointment as TNCC president,” Stalin said in a statement, and extended his wishes to four other appointees too (H Vasantha Kumar, K Jayakumar, M K Vishnu Prasad and Mayura Jayakumar). Another Alagiri has emerged in the TN political arena. Will he too be an ‘Anja Nenjan’?