Chennai: The AIADMK high command will decide on the issue of joining the next NDA government at the Centre as and when it is formed, AIADMK Minister for Fisheries, and unofficial spokesman of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, told News Today TV / Malaisudar TV in an exclusive interview.
Asked about the AIADMK’s decision to form an alliance with the BJP on the ground that it would help obtain more projects from the Centre, Jayakumar said the AIADMK government had from time to time been urging the Union government to provide more funds or clear more projects for Tamilnadu. We felt that if we had an alliance with the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP, it will help the State government secure more projects from the Union government, he said.
On whether this can be taken logically forward to mean that the AIADMK may also join the next NDA government if and when it is formed, on the ground that it may help secure more projects for the State, Jayakumar said a decision on joining the next NDA government will be taken by the party high command after the elections are over. It will not be appropriate for me to announce any decision in this regard, he said.
The party top brass, including Chief Minister and co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami, and Deputy Chief Minister and co-ordinator O Panneerselvam will take a decision in this regard, said Jayakumar.
The DMK ministers in the UPA governments from 2004 to 2014 did not use their posts for the benefit of Tamilnadu, he said, and charged that they did not help the Eelam Tamils during the 2009 war in Sri Lanka as a result of which over 1.5 lakh people died.
Jayakumar recalled that in 1998, Amma had taken the decision to join the NDA government at the Centre so that its ministers could use the opportunity for betterment of Tamilnadu. That is the difference between the DMK and AIADMK, he said.
On the prospects of the AIADMK-led alliance in Tamilnadu, Jayakumar said the front was doing extremely well according to initial reports and that it would sweep the State. Replying to a question on the issue of transfer of votes from one party of the alliance to another, the Minister said the votes from one party to another would get transferred fully and there should be no doubt in this regard.
Asked about the charge of the DMK-led Opposition that there was an anti-incumbency wave against both the ruling parties – the AIADMK in the State and BJP at the Centre – Jayakumar said there was no such adverse factor. The AIADMK was extremely popular in the State, with Amma having implemented a number of revolutionary schemes for women, students, and other projects like Amma Unavagam.
The present government under Edappadi Palaniswami has continued the good work, and even expanded the number of welfare schemes like the income scheme for the jobless, the Pongal gift of Rs 1,000 to ration cardholders. The DMK had even tried to object to implementation of such schemes, but the people support us, he pointed out.
On the emergence of Palaniswami as a shrewd politician in crafting the alliance with other parties, especially the PMK and DMDK, since several tricky issues were involved, the Minister said the AIADMK has created a mega alliance including several parties.
“We have been able to achieve this as we followed the strategy of Amma who evolved similar alliances in the past. Her training has helped party leaders now. The 1998 alliance created by Amma has almost been re-created now with the inclusion of the BJP and PMK in the front. Just like that alliance, this tie-up will also be successful,” he added.
The AIADMK would sweep the 18 by-elections in the State, also scheduled for 18 April, which would not only give a big majority for the AIADMK in the Assembly, the present government will be further strengthened and continue not just till 2021 but even beyond 2021, Minister Jayakumar asserted. There was absolutely no threat to the government due to the by-elections. On the contrary, it will emerge stronger, he added.
People felt happy with the performance of the AIADMK government, especially maintenance of law and order, Jayakumar said, adding that Tamilnadu was a haven of peace. The State was by and large peaceful, enabling growth and industrial development.
On the other hand, the DMK is seen as a party instigating violence, and creating law and order problems. The spate of incidents involving attacks by DMK volunteers in biriyani shops, bars and restaurants, even when the party was in the Opposition, had made people wonder what would happen if the DMK became ruling party. Therefore, people will vote for continuance of this government, Jayakumar said.