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Stalin Says Tamil Nadu Wants Rahul Gandhi as PM, Reveals Why He Didn’t Repeat the Pitch at Kolkata Rally


Chennai: Barely a month after backing Rahul Gandhi as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, DMK president MK Stalin seems to have toned down his endorsement of the Congress chief.

Sharing the stage with leaders of 21 other political parties, including Congress, at Saturday’s ‘United India’ rally in Kolkata, Stalin did not repeat his ‘Rahul for PM’ call, sticking instead to the common opposition theme of dislodging the Narendra Modi government.

Brushing aside speculation of a re-think on his part, Stalin on Sunday said he did not repeat his endorsement of Rahul Gandhi in Kolkata “as the situation is very different in West Bengal”.

The DMK chief said the people of Tamil Nadu want Rahul Gandhi as prime minister, which is why he had proposed the Congress chief’s name at a DMK event in Chennai last month.
“I had said this about Rahul Gandhi in Chennai, what was wrong in it? It is the wish and aspiration of the people in Tamil Nadu. But in West Bengal, they have decided to finalise it after the election. It is their wish,” news agency ANI quoted Stalin as saying.

Stalin skipping Rahul Gandhi’s mention in Kolkata can also be seen as a move to placate host Mamata Banerjee who was said to be unhappy over his “premature” pitch for Rahul Gandhi as PM.

At the rally organised by Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, Stalin termed the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as the “second freedom struggle” for the people of India against “radical Hinduism” of the BJP.

“The next (Lok Sabha) elections will be the second fight for Independence. We will stop this poison of Hindutva and radical Hinduism from spreading. Our call is to defeat Modi and save the country,” he said at the Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata.

Criticising the central government, Stalin accused it of working for corporate houses. “If Modi is back in power, the country will go back 50 years,” he said.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai

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