Tiruchy: A strong anti-Congress sentiment prevailed in the DMK, which began preparations for the TESO conference with a meeting of activists here on Tuesday. Despite all the curbs by the leadership against attacking its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ally, speakers devised innovative ways to express their suppressed anger and resentment against the Congress. A senior headquarters functionary described the Congress as a ‘corpse’ and wondered how long the ‘corpse’ should be carried on their head, in an apparent expression of his frustration over continuing the alliance with the Congress.
The senior functionary, known for his proximity to DMK leader M Karunanidhi, also took an indirect dig at the popularity of the various factional leaders of the Congress, which polled about five per cent votes in the local body polls which it contested on its own. In a satirical comment, he said: “Each Congress faction leader has following in lakhs in the State.”
Despite the official sanction to attack the AIADMK, speakers rarely took on their arch-rival, while Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko and World Tamil Forum leader P Nedumaran, who are strong critics of the DMK on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue were treated softly. However, popular director and Naam Thamizhar leader P Seeman was not spared.
Even though most of the speakers expressed anguish at the harsh criticism of Vaiko and Nedumaran, none of them came forward to answer their questions. Only recently, Vaiko, who visited the city, recalled how LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s mother Parvathy Ammal was not allowed to take medical treatment in Tamil Nadu by the DMK government and questioned the locus standi of Karunanidhi to hold a conference for Eelam Tamils, Nedumaran too, in a recent statement, had recalled how the DMK government suppressed the protests in Tamil Nadu seeking ceasefire in Lanka and “cooperated” with the Congress during the military offensive which killed thousands of Tamils, including women and children.
District secretary K N Nehru, who cited the attacks of Vaiko and Nedumaran, said it was like old merchants opposing the entry of new traders in their areas of speciality. One of the activists who attended the meeting admitted that his party’s speakers did not attempt to answer Vaiko or Nedumaran, since such attempts would be futile.