AIADMK downplays DMDK’s MPs’ jibe, denies impasse over talks

Salem/Chennai: AIADMK top leader and Chief Minister K Palaniswami Saturday denied there was a deadlock in talks with the DMDK and softpedalled the prospective ally’s remarks against his party.

Downplaying the DMDK’s remark that despite having 37 MPs, AIADMK could not bring good projects to the state, he said it was natural to be critical while being in the opposite camp and a consensus on views would emerge only when an alliance was struck.

“Each party has a stand. There is no impasse (over talks aimed at stitching an alliance to face the Lok Sabha polls),” he told reporters at Salem when asked about the deadlock in talks with the DMDK. Premalatha Vijayakanth, DMDK’s treasurer and wife of party chief Vijayakanth, had asked on Friday what benefit Tamil Nadu got though the AIADMK won 37 of the 39 seats without being part of any alliance in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Since AIADMK was not part of the winning combine -NDA- that wrested power at the Centre from the Congress, Tamil Nadu could not get “good projects” from the Union government notwithstanding its 37 MPs, she had told reporters.

“This is an election to elect MPs, the Prime Minister and we have to tie-up with only one of the two national parties,” she had said, adding that a good decision would be out in a couple of days. The Congress party is in alliance with the DMK and the latter had days ago declared it had no seats to offer to DMDK. The DMDK’s remark, though seen as a jibe directed at the ruling party, was also perceived as a bid to defend the proposal to tie up with the AIADMK combine since the BJP is a key constituent in that alliance.

Palaniswami said: “We know to what extent MDMK chief Vaiko had lambasted the DMK. Now he is in the DMK front and is extolling (DMK chief Stalin) sky-high… you don’t air such things in the (visual) media.”

The DMDK top leader had not said that her party opposed the AIADMK, the Chief Minister pointed out. Senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar said he disagreed with Premalatha’s view and that his party could strongly raise its voice on the Mekedatu issue in Parliament only due to its 37 MPs.

“Parliament was stalled. It happened only because of our 37 MPs,” Jayakumar, who is also the Fisheries Minister, told scribes in Chennai. The AIADMK had stalled Parliament last year over an alleged bid by Karnataka to build a dam at Mekedatu across the Cauvery. Despite not being part of the winning combine in 2014, AIADMK had never given up the rights of Tamil Nadu and had always fought and won the State’s rights, he said.

AIADMK could exert pressure on the Centre only due to its strength of MPs and the state had also got funding for projects, he said. Asked if he was softpedalling the matter, he said the DMDK leader may have avoided making the remark. “Let us forgive and forget as per Anna’s (Dravidian ideologue and DMK founder) philosophy, the past is past, let us leave it.”