Jayalalitha makes an overture to Congress, is snubbed (Second Lead)

February 19th, 2009 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiChennai/New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha Thursday tried to cosy up to the Congress when she said it should withdraw support to the DMK government in Tamil Nadu. But the Congress rebuffed her and asserted that it has a “strong alliance” with the DMK.
“The DMK is a sinking ship and is anti-national. The Congress should withdraw its support at the state level,” the former Tamil Nadu chief minister said in Chennai, hinting that her party was open to an electoral alliance with the Congress.

Speaking at a marriage function, Jayalalitha also said the DMK was “quickly sinking in quicksand” and exhorted the Congress to “save itself” by joining her ranks.

However, senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily told reporters in New Delhi later: “We already have a strong alliance with the DMK.”

In reply to a question, the party general secretary said: “We have not received any proposal for an alliance from the AIADMK.”

He added that he learnt about the ‘proposal’ only through media reports.

Jayalalitha said: “The Congress should sack the DMK from the central (United Progressive Alliance) coalition and withdraw support to its minority regime in Tamil Nadu forthwith and save itself from sinking along with it.”

She waxed eloquent about her cordial relations with late Congress leaders Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and extended her hand of friendship to the party’s present leadership without actually naming Sonia Gandhi.

“I am proffering advice to the Congress (leadership) as a friend. It should contemplate carefully and decide its course of action…whether to be dragged into the quicksand and sink with the DMK or be rescued by aligning with the sure-winner in the ensuing parliamentary elections in Tamil Nadu,” Jayalalitha repeatedly said.

Jayalalitha said that “mistakes” were “common in political life” but as humans “one learnt from them and became better persons to move forward”, she said.

The DMK said Jayalalitha’s call to the Congress was an act of desperation.

DMK spokesperson in Tamil Nadu T.K.S. Elangovan said: “This betrays Jayalalitha’s sheer desperation and she has exposed herself through her shallow politics by begging before the Congress, which is anyway unwilling.”

A senior DMK minister, unwilling to be identified, said: “While our alliance was already strong, Jayalalitha has now made us stronger. We had deduced this attempt for some time since the PMK suddenly became warm towards us.”

The move creates a piquant situation for the Left parties, Jayalalitha’s new allies, which had distanced themselves from all those outfits that associated with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.

“I have heard about it (Jayalalitha’s remarks) but I am away from Chennai and will react later,” Communist Party of India’s state secretary D. Pandian told IANS.

The DMK spokesperson said: “I feel sorry for my dear friend Pandian.”

Elangovan added that the Left would eventually return to the UPA once it understood that Jayalalitha was not dependable.

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