Chennai, Aug 26: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi greeted actor and DMDK chief Vijayakanth on the occasion of his 61st birthday on Sunday. Political observers feel the birthday wishes could revive fresh political alignment in Tamil Nadu ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
Vijayakanth was also greeted by other Congress leaders from or related to the state, like Union minister G K Vasan, AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik who is in charge of Tamil Nadu, national secretary S Thirunavukkarasar and state Congress Committee chief B S Gnanadesikan.
Leaders from other parties also wished the DMDK leader but Rahul Gandhi's greeting assumed a significance for the leader never greeted DMK chief K Karunanidhi or any other leader in the party in the last nine years even though the DMK was a crucial ally in the UPA government at the Centre till recently.
The DMDK leadership was pleased with the Congress's initiative, saying it was a moral booster at a time when some of the party members betrayed the leader to tilt towards the AIADMK, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu. It said that several DMK leaders at the district levels wanted to make an alliance with the DMDK, whoch showed its strength.
Vijayakanth, however, chose to maintain a suspense about a probable alliance with the Congress. He said the decision on the alliance option will be revealed once the Election Commission announces the dates of the election. He also said the decision would be taken after consulting the party functionaries.
Political analysts feel that since the AIADMK is anti-UPA and the DMK broke up with the UPA a few months ago, the Congress's remaining option is to form a third front with the DMDK and bargain for more seats with the DMK. The Congress's latest move would also encourage the DMDK.
Sources in the Congress said the party always maintained a good relation with Vijayakanth and almost had him on its side during the last parliamentary elections but ultimately the presence of the DMK in the UPA prevented the alliance to see the daylight.
DMDK sources said the party chief is planning to hold a conference in Tuticorin to observe the party's ninth anniversary and he is expected to gauge the party mood on the alliance issue on the occasion.