Ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections in 2019, DMK President MK Stalin on Sunday made a strong pitch for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition.
Stalin also went on to say that Gandhi had the ability to defeat the "fascist" Narendra Modi government.
Battle for Karunanidhi's legacy deepens; brace for consequences if not re-admitted to party, Alagiri warns DMK
MK Stalin to officially take over as DMK President, reinstate to party to avoid consequences, warns Alagiri
Stalin's plea is in line with the tradition of his late father M Karunanidhi who had earlier invited Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi for leadership roles.
The DMK president was speaking at a rally attended by chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, N Chandrababu Naidu and Pinarayi Vijayan, respectively.
Incidentally, Naidu, post his split with the BJP-led NDA earlier this year, is attempting to cobble up a mega coalition of anti-BJP front for the next parliamentary elections.
Stalin recalled that Karunanidhi had in 1980 declared "Welcome daughter of Pandit Nehru. Give a Stable Regime" while extending support to the late Indira Gandhi. Similarly, he had made an invitation to Sonia Gandhi in 2004, saying "Welcome daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, India's daughter should Win".
"In 2018, on the occasion of unveiling Thalaivar Kalaignar statue, I propose, we will install a new prime minister in Delhi. We will build a new India, as the Son of Thalaivar Kalaignar, I propose the candidature of Rahul Gandhi from Tamil Nadu," Stalin said.
The rally followed the unveiling of a bronze statue of Karunanidhi at the DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam. Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party president Rahul Gandhi were also in attendance at the event.
"Rahul has got the ability to defeat the 'Fascist Nazist' Modi government. I appeal to all my respected party leaders on the dais. We will strengthen the hands of Rahul Gandhi. We will save this nation," Stalin added.
(With PTI inputs)