Once bitten twice shy. After a poor show in the Bihar elections and being publicly insulted by the RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav for spoiling the alliance prospects as Cong could win only 19 seats against 70 contested, the Congress party seems to have gone soft in its seat-sharing talks with the DMK Supremo MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu. Against its original demand for 54 seats, the Congress has quietly settled for 25 legislative seats. And for the by-elections, the party is pleased to get the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat. It is learnt that Rahul Gandhi does not mind playing second fiddle as his only objective is to counter the BJP-AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. Rahul, who has visited Tamil Nadu twice in recent times, enjoys a good equation with Stalin who is very confident of the DMK-Congress win this time. Even poll-strategist Prashant Kishor is talking of DMK winning. What makes the fight interesting is the BJP’s Hindutva appeal while in Tamil Nadu it has always been the Dravidian plank for all parties. Fearing backlash, it is learnt that the BJP’s alliance partner AIADMK has advised it not to push the Hindutva agenda. Rahul is likely to campaign extensively in Tamil Nadu, sharing dais with Stalin and address crucial joint meetings. For Rahul, the idea of playing second fiddle is also to revive Congress in Tamil Nadu. Will his bet pay off? Only time will tell.