NEW DELHI (TIP): Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on March 28 said that his party would welcome M Karunanidhi-led DMK’s re-entry in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) two days after the veteran leader from Tamil Nadu extended an olive branch to the Congress offering to “forgive” and support it after the Lok Sabha elections.
“I’m surprised at Karunanidhi’s offer of support to Congress after Lok Sabha elections,” Chidambaram said, adding, “If Karunandihi says he is coming I’m ready to welcome him.” The senior Congress leader also rejected allegations that his party betrayed close UPA allies in their difficult times by saying, “Congress is the centre of secularism, we never strayed.” The reactions from the Union Finance Minister came two days after the 89 year-old DMK supremo first mounted a sharp attack against Congress and later said that he is willing to support it after polls.
The DMK had severed ties with Congress last year after Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi and former Telecom minister A Raja were jailed in a case relating to 2G scam. Since then, Karunanidhi had refused to renew the alliance for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls. “They were more inclined to save their government but showed no gratitude,” he said in an apparent reference to the problems faced by his daughter. But he suddenly softened his tone and said, “If the Congressmen express regret and get back to their secular credentials -DMK will support them – not in terms of votes – but to change the evils that had gripped them, and ready to forgive them.”
The DMK patriarch predicted doomsday for Congress in Tamil Nadu in this election, saying it had hit an ‘abysmal low’ not only in this state but elsewhere too. “To lead a good life, you have to have gratitude. Congress never realised who gave them a helping hand in the past and gave so many troubles to DMK and its members and they are paying for it now,” Karunanidhi who advanced his electioneering by about two weeks, told a well-attended gathering in the city.