Tamil Nadu Speaks: What Does the Stalin-KCR Meeting Mean?

The people of Chennai tell us what they think of the KCR-Stalin meet and if Stalin was right to stay with Congress.

Updated17 May 2019, 08:08 AM IST
Elections
3 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Producer:
Smitha TK

D-day for 2019 elections is nearing – and a crucial development this week is Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s meeting with DMK President MK Stalin in Chennai.

Before the two met, speculation was rife that KCR was going to ask the DMK to join the Third Front. But sources told The Quint that Stalin declined the offer, stuck with his old ally Congress, and even told KCR to extend his support to the Congress if and when they form government.

But the timing of the meeting and the way Stalin dealt with it is important for Tamil Nadu.

The Quint spoke to people of the state to find out what they think of this meeting and if they believe the Third Front can be a viable alternative to the BJP and the Congress.

‘Stalin Showed Trust’

Stalin spoke to reporters at the Chennai airport on Tuesday, 14 May, saying he “doesn't see a chance” for a Third Front.“However, all that will be decided only after counting on 23 May,” he said.

Many people in the state believe that Stalin was smart to stick with the Congress, pointing out that Stalin was actually the first person to announce Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate for the Congress.

Citing various reasons, most people we spoke to said that DMK is in a good position with the Congress, especially with KCR not having a concrete plan of how many seats he might win to get a majority. Ratheesh, a consultant from Chennai told that “Stalin has shown trust by sticking with his ally and earned brownie points with the people.”

“If you look at the welfare of Tamil Nadu per se, the wise choice would be to go with the Congress. Because in their manifesto, they have clearly mentioned that they will cancel NEET and will resolve the issues that our fishermen have with Sri Lanka.”
Keerthana, Resident, Thanjavur

Others feel that though KCR’s offer is a good alternative, the regional front is not ready today to take on these elections.

“It's not possible for any front to form a government at the Central level without the support of either of the national parties – the Congress and the BJP,” said Tathagath, a resident of Chennai.

Has DMK Become a Sought-After Party This Election Season?

Stalin should give himself a pat on the back, as his party DMK has become a game-changer in today’s politics, some analysts say. After veteran leader Karunanidhi’s demise, Stalin took on the mantle of leadership, and unlike the AIADMK, which broke into many pieces post the death of Jayalalithaa, the party has stood strong and united.

“The DMK is a party that people want to have alliances with right now and is a party which everybody expects to win. So everybody wants to go have an alliance with them so that it would cement at least 25 seats in their favour.”
Shakthi, Resident, Chennai

“All opinions polls are giving the DMK something close to 25-30 seats, which is a pretty huge chunk of MPs which will really be helpful for any government to form,” he added.

Some people said that this development has put Stalin in a position to negotiate better with the Congress high command party positions and ministerial berths, if and when they get elected to power.

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Published: 17 May 2019, 05:55 AM IST
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