The DMK, which is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha after the BJP and Congress, is trying to catapult party president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin into the national scenario with the grand inauguration of its party office in the national capital on April 2.
DMK parliamentary party leader and former Union minister T.R. Baalu has already extended invitations to BJP president J.P. Nadda, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other senior leaders. The invitation to Amit Shah who had earlier refused to meet the delegation of DMK parliamentarians regarding the NEET issue has raised several eyebrows.
Party State Organising secretary R.S. Bharathi, however, said that the invitation extended to Amit Shah was a courtesy. He said that even AIADMK leaders have been invited for the function.
It is not a secret that Stalin has been nursing national ambitions and planning to head a regional coalition against the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. While Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been conducting whirlwind tours across the country meeting regional leaders for a possible alternative to the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, Stalin has an advantage with the Congress supporting the DMK leader.
The DMK top brass, including Baalu, is planning to Stalin is catapulted to the national stage. Stalin's father and late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalignar Karunanidhi had entered into political relationship with both the NDA and UPA earlier and T.R. Baalu has been one of the major architects in these shrewd political moves.
It is to be seen how DMK's will fructify to push Stalin as an alternate regional leader as there are several other players aspring for a national role.
Political commentator and Director of Madurai based think tank, Socio-Economic Development Front Dr. R. Padmanabhan while speaking to IANS said: "Stalin has all the right to be projected as an alternative to the BJP at the centre but it is to be seen as to how the nation as a whole accept a regional party leader from South of India. The DMK party inauguration is indeed a show of strength and networking at New Delhi and is worth a try."