DMK president M K Stalin strongly defended backing Rahul Gandhi as prime ministerial candidate, saying the Congress chief had the strength to dislodge the BJP regime at the Centre and sought the support of friendly secular parties for his proposal. Amid murmurs in the opposition ranks about reservations over the proposal, Stalin said it may have led to a debate among friendly parties. "In a democracy, solutions have emerged only from debates. these deliberations too will cause good outcomes," he said in a letter to his party cadre late Monday. Stalin appealed to other opposition parties to "strengthen the hands of Rahul to guard democracy". He said joining of forces was required to trounce the BJP in the Lok Sabha election next year. The DMK chief said his statement was based on the rationale that projecting Gandhi alone would be appropriate to bind secular forces. Noting that the Congress beat the saffron party in the recently concluded assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, he said Gandhi had the strength to defeat the Modi-led BJP government. Stalin said his statement was made keeping with the legacy of his father and late DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, who was for taking ideas forward at the opportune and appropriate time. He also reiterated that the DMK under the leadership of his father had taken the lead at the right time during previous Lok Sabha elections to propel the Congress towards victory. The DMK chief again accused the BJP government of being against pluralism, pushing economy into a shambles, hurting communal harmony and being indifferent to Tamil Nadu.