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DMK becomes rallying point for opposition unity

Updated by admin on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 07:18 PM IST

Chennai: Leader after leader of various opposition parties, speaking at the Kalaignar condolence meeting in Chennai on August 30, stressed that the newly-elected president M K Stalin will play a crucial role in the formation of the next government at the Centre. For Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Pon Radhakrishnan of the BJP, it must have been galling to find a galaxy of opposition parties coming together under one platform which could be a precursor to an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The speakers, barring Gadkari, referred to the stellar role played by Muthuvel Karunanidhi in providing a platform for opposition unity and secularism in the country, and asked Stalin to continue the process. Stalin and his DMK could have a pivotal role in getting opposition parties together to overcome the BJP in the next elections, they said.

In the last two days, perhaps with an eye on the DMK role at the national level, Stalin has chosen to hit out at BJP’s efforts to saffronise the nation, and endanger national integration through its attacks on institutions in the educational, literary and social fields.

It was no mean feat on the part of Stalin to get together such diverse elements as the Trinamool Congress and the Left parties on one stage. Similarly, present were senior representatives of the TDP and its arch rival, the Congress. Parties which appear to be coming closer to the Congress like the NCP also marked their presence and pledged themselves to the cause of secularism. AAP, which is opposed by the Congress in States like Delhi and Punjab, too asked Stalin to continue the efforts of opposition unity.

Though a condolence meeting, it had all the makings of an opposition front despite the presence of Gadkari. The BJP minister made the usual noises about the DMK’s opposition to the Emergency, and its relationship with A B Vajpayee, but the overall message was of diverse parties showing their willingness to come together on one platform against the BJP-led NDA, and making common cause.

Stalin had also achieved the task of bringing Bihar chief minister and NDA constituent Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) to the meeting. Nitish would not have missed the political message delivered by his erstwhile allies that a formidable front against the NDA is in the making.

Sitaram Yechury of the CPM and D Raja of the CPI shared the stage with Derek O’Obrien of the TMC and Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, which is not a common sight in the country.

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