TMC fumes at MK Stalin’s Rahul for PM pitch, says this could harm Opposition unity

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has taken Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin’s endorsement for Rahul Gandhi to be the next prime minister a bit too seriously.

In what may be a red flag for the developing unity amongst the Opposition parties, the TMC higher ups, according to sources, said, “We have taken this very seriously. The entire Opposition is taking a closer and serious view of it. The presentation or announcement of any name is not welcoming. This could harm the unity amongst the Opposition parties.”

Stalin, earlier in the day, proposed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s name for the prime ministerial post of the country.

READ THE FULL STORY | At DMK event, Sonia flaunts mahagathbandhan, Stalin endorses Rahul for PM face

This came in the wake of the Congress party, with a little help from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party, defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the recently concluded assembly elections in five states.

“I propose to install a new prime minister in Delhi. I propose candidature of Rahul Gandhi from Tamil Nadu. He has got the ability to defeat the fascist Modi government. We will save this nation. We will work to strengthen Rahul Gandhi and his endeavour,” Stalin said, while addressing a public rally after attending the inauguration of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s statue, in Chennai.

The candidature, however, was not to the liking of the TMC. It further said, “We have said it earlier also that the name of the prime minister will be decided only after the election results. Even Congress is not mentioning any names; why are other parties stepping into such action?”

Even the Samajwadi Party was not in agreement with the PM pitch. It, however, sat on the fence when asked about the repercussion of such an announcement.

“It is the mandate of the people that will decide who the prime minister of the nation will be,” Samajwadi Party leader Ghanshyam Tiwari told India Today TV.

He added, “This is not a disagreement. I am just saying this point has not even been on the table as of now.”

A number of opposition leaders are understood to have reservations against naming anyone as the prime ministerial face.

“The TMC, the Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) disagree with Stalin’s announcement. It is premature. The PM name is to be decided only after the Lok Sabha results,” a top opposition leader told PTI.

Sunday’s mega event by the DMK turned into a show of strength by the Opposition parties as top leaders, such as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, and Rajinikanth gathered at the Anna Arivalayam, the DMK’s headquarters. Rahul Gandhi was also present at the event.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanswamy were also in attendance.

Sonia Gandhi happily declared the Opposition was united against the BJP, in the run up to the Lok Sabha election next year.

She said, “We declare we stand united against the BJP and the fascist forces.”

Rahul lashed out at the BJP government at the Centre and said they would not allow “destruction” of institutions of the country like the Supreme Court and the Reserve Bank of India.

The BJP government believes “only one idea should run India”, he alleged at the rally organised by his party’s southern ally, the DMK.

Karunanidhi’s statue was unveiled by Sonia Gandhi.

This was the second grand meeting of the Opposition parties after the one held in New Delhi on December 10 — a day before the state assembly election results for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram were to be announced.