The DMK-Congress alliance seems to have no let-off from the ensuing Nanguneri bypoll. Leaders of the DMK and ally Congress are sweating it out to gain one-upmanship over securing the Assembly seat in Tirunelveli.
Former state Congress president Su Thirunavukkarasar and former Congress whip Peter Alphonse had urged Wasnik to persuade the national leadership to convince the DMK to give up the seat.
While Thirunavukkarasar had publicly pitched the idea of fielding a Congress candidate, Peter, going by sources, had met Wasnik in person at Sathyamurthy Bhavan in this regard. Peter was understood to have told the AICC in charge that Nanguneri was Congress seat, which, it could not afford to sacrifice in one of its strongholds.
The first Congress bid for Nanguneri, in fact, came from its outgoing MLA Vasantha Kumar who said immediately after tendering his resignation to the Speaker that Congress should contest in its seat.
Incidentally, a few DMK regional satraps have already held meetings with local party cadre to prepare for the bypoll. DMK deputy general secretary I Periasamy had even publicly expressed his willingness that they should contest in Nanguneri. Periasamy was not alone in getting on the nerves of the Congress. Not so long ago, DMK youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin had publicly claimed and that too in the presence of Congress leaders in a public meeting, that winning Nanguneri would be easy if DMK contests.
That the Congress push comes in the backdrop of influential DMK leaders making a strong pitch for Nanguneri was causing discomfort in the alliance with some even predicting that it could burn bridges between the two allies.