Congress MP Jothimani walked out from the meet, presided over by DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Power Minister, V.Senthilbalaji, to discuss seat-sharing during the upcoming urban local body polls in Tamil Nadu’s Karur, protesting its “autocratic attitude”.
The Congress has been demanding a good number of seats in the local body polls as the party is of the view that it had the grassroot support in several Assembly constituencies and that the seat allocation must be in proportion to this.
After Jothimani and her supporters walked out of the seat-sharing meeting at Karur on Monday, the local level relation between the DMK and Congress has turned sour.
The Congress leaders are of the opinion that the DMK was indulging in seat-sharing in an autocratic manner which cannot be accepted.
Sources in the Congress told IANS that there was a verbal duel between Jothimani and Senthilbalaji and DMK leaders asked the Congress to leave the discussions.
Jothimani is a Congress firebrand woman leader with grassroot support in Karur and it is to be seen as to how she and her supporters would take up this issue.
She was enraged as Senthilbalaji finalised all 48 seats in the Karur municipality without consulting her and this led to a verbal duel between the two.
Jothimani walked out of the meeting hall and the Congress leadership is upset that the Minister did not stop her.
However, state Congress chief K.S. Alagiri told IANS that “it is a local level issue and there are no problems between the DMK and Congress regarding our alliance”.
“We will iron out the differences if any and work for the victory of the Secular Progressive Alliance candidates in the ensuing urban local body polls. Just like in the general elections, Assembly elections and rural local body elections for the nine districts, it will be a cakewalk victory for the DMK, the Congress and our allies in the urban local body polls as people are with us. Please don’t aggravate minor issues,” he said.
While the Congress leadership is trying to downplay the issue, the local party leaders are miffed at the stand taken by Senthilbalaji and want Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s intervention into the matter.