Congress values its partnership with DMK, AICC secretary says

The top leadership of both the parties have an “excellent” bonding, AICC secretary Sanjay Dutt said

Reacting to the absence of the DMK from the day-and-night agitation called by the Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA) demanding the recall of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, All India Congress Committee secretary (AICC), Sanjay Dutt, said the Congress party always values the alliance with the DMK and top leadership of both the parties have an “excellent” bonding.

“Maybe the local leadership of DMK has some very minor issues. These are pinpricks and will be sorted out in the long run…The Chief Minister is already talking to resolve the issues,” Mr. Dutt told The Hindu.

Further elaborating, the AICC leader said DMK President M. K. Stalin has an “excellent bonding” with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and with Rahul Gandhi. “Our fight is against communal forces. Mr. Stalin is aware of the friendship between principal Opposition party AINRC and the BJP. I am confident of sorting out those minor issues,” he said.

On the agitation, the Congress leader said the party and members of SDA were left with no other option other than taking to the streets against the Lt Governor because her “unconstitutional” ways of functioning had taken away the rights of people. “The basic premise in the constitutional scheme of things is that when there is an Assembly, the will of the people matters. The elected representatives express the will of the people,” he said.

“When you thwart the decisions of the Assembly and the Cabinet, you are hitting at the roots of democracy. One could understand if the Lt Governor has differences on some decisions. Here, all the major decisions of the Cabinet are either rejected, referred to Centre or delayed, which raises apprehensions,” the AICC leader said.

Mr. Dutt said it was ironic that neighbouring Tamil Nadu could distribute rice to ration cardholders but not the Union Territory due to the objections of Lt Governor. “People will start questioning the necessity of having an Assembly and elections. So, these things give an impression that the BJP is using the Lt Governor for a long-term agenda. Maybe they wanted to merge the UT with Tamil Nadu or make the territory without an Assembly. There is a precedence to it. The State of Jammu and Kashmir was split and downgraded as UTs with and without ab Assembly. Under the BJP, it could happen in Puducherry also,” he said.

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