Tamil Nadu BJP vice-president and former DMK general secretary VP Duraisamy on Wednesday said next year’s assembly election is going to be a battle between DMK and BJP.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai, Duraisamy said being the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP has the right to lead the alliance in Tamil Nadu ahead of assembly elections.
“Till last week, the 2021 elections were projected as DMK vs AIADMK, but after the departure of Ku Ka Selvam (DMK MLA from Thousand Lights constituency), it has become BJP vs DMK. This is a sign of our growth, we are growing fast in Tamil Nadu. Like-minded parties would be part of the alliance, we will lead them because we are a national party,” he said.
The reaction from Duraisamy comes days after Tamil Nadu BJP leader L Murugan said the AIADMK-BJP alliance will continue in the 2021 elections.
Meanwhile, the ministers in the AIADMK camp had been passing contradictory remarks on who will be their Chief Minister candidate for the Assembly elections. Minister Sellur K Raju had said that both former CMs MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa never projected themselves as the CM candidate and it was the people and the cabinet which elected them to those positions and similarly, in the upcoming election, the AIADMK party will decide on who will be their CM candidate.
However, Minister Rajendra Balaji and RB Udhayakumar said Edappadi K Palanisami will lead the party in the 2021 elections and that there are no second thoughts on that. “We have faced three elections under the leadership of EPS and we will face the upcoming elections under him,” Udhayakumar said.
Reacting to Duraisamy’s comment, AIADMK leader and state Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the alliance will be decided only before the elections. “We don’t know whether it is his view or the party. BJP leader Murugan’s opinion is our opinion,” he said. He further said that discussion about their party’s chief minister candidate now will only weaken their chances in the election.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the AIADMK-led NDA alliance managed to win just a single seat in Theni. Duraisamy, who served as a deputy speaker from 1989 to 91 quit DMK and joined AIADMK. However, within a year he returned to DMK. He then served as a Rajya Sabha MP from 1996 to 2001. During the DMK regime between 2006 -11, he was again appointed as the deputy speaker.
Duraiswamy also commented on DMK MP Kanimozhi’s claim that a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officer asked if she was an Indian when she requested the woman official to speak in Tamil or English. He said he had never faced any such issue when he was a Rajya Sabha MP.
“She (Kanimozhi) has been a Parliament member for many years and I have served as a Rajya Sabha MP for six years. Every time we enter the airport, there will be a security officer who will assist us till the boarding point. They will talk maximum in English and some of them even speak in the local language. As far as I’m concerned, incidents like the one which Kanimozhi had claimed would have never taken place,” he said.