The national party will also field a candidate in the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency

The Congress and the DMK on Sunday signed a seat-sharing agreement as per which the national party will contest in 25 Assembly constituencies and the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha bypoll, as part of the Secular Progressive Alliance. The agreement was signed by DMK president M.K. Stalin and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K. S. Alagiri in the presence of senior leaders of both parties at Anna Arivayalam, the Dravidian party’s headquarters in Chennai.

Addressing reporters, Mr. Alagiri said ‘secularism’ has united the parties in this alliance in the same straight line. “The BJP has grown into a disease and they are trying to spread it across India. They have infiltrated into several parties to break them, weaken them, poach leaders and topple the government,” he charged.

Mr. Alagiri alleged that the Congress government in Pudhucherry was toppled by the Lt. Governor with the help of the Centre. “The Congress joined the alliance aiming to stop the BJP from exerting influence in the State and to ensure that AIADMK shouldn’t get another chance to form the government, and to remove anti-social justice forces,” he said.

Explaining the point of view of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with respect to this election, he said, “Rahul Gandhi told us that the elections are not just about the alliance. It is a war between two ideologies. If the AIADMK-BJP alliance wins, it will mean that an ideology has been defeated and another ideology has taken root.” He added that everybody should get together to pull the chariot.

When asked how seats allotted to Congress has been steadily reducing, Mr. Alagiri said, “In politics, it is common to have ups and downs. Great leaders have lost the elections and then won them. The seat-sharing agreement depends on the political ground that exists,” he said. He added that one Rajya Sabha seat for the Congress is “under consideration.”

AICC Tamil Nadu In-charge, Dinesh Gundu Rao said the seat sharing agreement has been signed in the spirit of co-operation and the party is happy with the numbers. “The country is facing a big threat today…not just in terms of an ideological battle but to save democracy. We have seen how BJP is running the country like a dictatorship. They are toppling governments and destroying democratic institutions using government power. Their agenda in Tamil Nadu is the same. By entering into an alliance with the AIADMK, the BJP’S intention is to finish off the AIADMK also. They want to have a one party, one man rule,” he charged adding this was a dangerous situation.

“This alliance is a secular front, which will send a message to the country that we must stop the fascist forces. We have had lot of discussions, but after all that, we have come to the conclusion. The DMK, Congress, Left and VCK are going to sweep the elections,” he said.

Mr. Rao said that the decision to sign the agreement was taken in consultation with all senior Congress leaders.

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