The vacancy arose in Kanniyakumari following the death of Congress MP H Vasanthakumar due to COVID-19 recently. Alagiri on Monday reiterated that Kanniyakumari seat was Congress seat and they would contest in the by-elections to be held for the constituency.
Though the statement sounds innocuous at the outset, not all in either the DMK or even a few in the Congress were enthused by Alagiri’s assurance to his party men. Significantly, the DMK top brass was understood to have discussed Kanniyakumari vacancy only a day ago.
A DMK insider unwilling to be quoted revealed that the DMK was not too serious, but if the national ally was willing to forgo the seat, like it did in last year’s Assembly bypoll, it would field a candidate of its own in the constituency which has been held by national parties in the recent elections.
“Our leaders are not too keen on asking Congress to forgo the seat. If they don’t want to contest, one of our candidates would be fielded. It was discussed yesterday (Sunday) during a meeting of a few senior leaders,” said the DMK source, adding that next year’s Assembly election was their target.
A Congress leader admitted that Alagiri’s statement could offend DMK and said the TNCC chief could have made a diplomatic statement. “He could have said that he would consult allies and field a suitable Congress candidate. His statement was not wrong. But it could give a feeling to allies that Congress was unilateral. It will not spoil harmony in the alliance. Our rivals could exploit it to their advantage,” he added.