The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Friday declared in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah that its alliance with the BJP will continue for the 2021 Assembly election.
The announcement was first made by Deputy CM and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam at a government function in which Shah was inaugurating multi-crore projects. Soon after CM and party co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami endorsed it. Both later met Shah at a private hotel in Chennai and were closeted with him in discussions.
Shah reacted to the announcement of continuation of alliance by sounding the poll bugle taking on the DMK-Congress and declaring the Modi Government at the Centre would stand like a rock to support the AIADMK Government in Tamil Nadu. He added the BJP-led Centre will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tamil people for the state’s development.
He hit out at the DMK-Congress dubbing them a party of the dynasty and called upon the people to shun the dynastic politics in the election due next year. Shah said the TN government was on top in the good governance index and had won several national level awards.
“I challenge the DMK and Congress to list out what they had done for the development of Tamil Nadu during the 10 years when they were in power (at the Centre) and compare it with what we have done. We are willing to respond to them at any forum in Chennai. The BJP government’s budgetary allocation for Tamil Nadu is much higher than what was given during the Manmohan Singh govt,” Shah said reeling out figures to buttress his argument.
The Home Minister said the DMK and the Congress had no locus standi to speak about corruption after the 2G scandal and other multi-crore scandals. With this battle lines are clearly drawn between the alliances led by the AIADMK and the DMK and puts to rest speculation of strains in the ties between the ruling party and the BJP.
In recent times the BJP’s relationship with the AIADMK appeared to be on the edge with the state government refusing permission for the national party’s Vetrivel Yatra as well as for conducting public Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. In fact, just last week, the AIADMK mouthpiece had strongly criticised the Vetrivel Yatra.
However, all that changed on Friday when Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, in an unprecedented development, personally went to the Chennai airport with cabinet ministers, to receive Shah upon his arrival. Usually the CM would receive only the President, Vice President or the PM, while Union ministers are received by protocol officers and senior ministers. Hundreds of AIADMK cadres rubbed shoulders with BJP cadres near the airport as well.