Chennai: Launching a scathing attack on the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said, the AIADMK was a party with a mask covering the BJP and RSS.
Addressing a joint Assembly election meeting of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance with leaders of all allies on stage in Salem – the home district of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami – he declared DMK president M K Stalin will be the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
“This is not the old AIADMK. This is an AIADMK with a mask. It looks like the AIADMK, but if you take off the mask, it is the BJP and RSS behind it. The old AIADMK is dead and finished. It is now a hollow shell controlled by the BJP and RSS,” he charged.
The Congress leader, who earlier in the day campaigned for party Velachery Assembly constituency candidate in Chennai, alleged that Palaniswami was “trapped” due to corruption and hence he “bowed” in front of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He charged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi controlled the AIADMK leader.
“I am angered to see that Palaniswami, belonging to the great Tamil civilisation, touched the feet of Modi and Shah and bowed in front of them. One has to touch the feet of Modi and Shah and bow before them, where a person was in the BJP or in an alliance with that party,” he alleged.
Without naming anyone he claimed a leader in Uttar Pradesh was forced to bow before Shah as he was corrupt and Palaniswami faced a similar situation.
“The tragedy is the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu does not want to bow in front of Amit Shah and no Tamil person will want to do that,” he said. He went on to allege, “Ironically, because of the money he has stolen from the people of Tamil Nadu, he is now trapped.”
In contrast, Congress believed in the ethos of brotherhood and equality, he said. “No language is superior. No tradition is superior. They are all equally important for our country. This is an attack on Tamil culture. This is also an attack on the idea of India. An India which treats Tamils with disrespect is not India,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Insisting that the AIADMK-BJP alliance will be “decimated” in Tamil Nadu in the April 6 elections, he said Stalin would be the instrument that would steer the rout of the AIADMK and its allies. Unlike previous elections which were about contests between political parties, “the present one is between the AIADMK, RSS, Modi and Shah on one side, and the Tamil people on the other side.”
On his part, Stalin urged Rahul Gandhi “to take charge and bring together all opposition parties in an alliance to fight the BJP”.