Two senior leaders of the ruling AIADMK on Monday sought to make light of an article published in the party’s mouthpiece suggesting that working with BJP would be like a “double-barrelled gun” in the political arena, with one of them saying a “columnist” cannot determine electoral pacts. State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar and AIADMK lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, M Thambidurai, maintained the decision on forging an alliance is taken by the party high command at the time of elections.
“This is not the right time. Only during election, alliances are decided. Only the party decides about that, not an individual columnist,” Jayakumar told reporters. Asked if AIADMK will oppose BJP “if it went against Tamil Nadu’s interests,” Jayakumar replied in the affirmative. He said AIADMK was “as disciplined” as it was when late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was steering the party.
In politically significant comments, AIADMK’s mouthpiece ‘Namadhu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma’ said yesterday signs of the party working with BJP like a “double-barrelled gun” in the political arena were visible and “no one can sever ties” between them. Coming out strongly against the persistent protests led by the principal opposition DMK over the Cauvery dispute, the publication said “whatever be the number of protests and demonstrations, no one can sever ties between AIADMK and BJP.” No one can weaken the bond between “the central and the state government”, it said.
“The signs are becoming visible for AIADMK and BJP to work like a double-barrelled gun in Indian politics. The pathway is clear,” it said, emphasising the need for the leadership of the two parties to chart out a roadmap for working together. Responding to the article, Thambidurai said there was no political pact between AIADMK and BJP “so far.” “We are functioning as a separate party in Parliament and there is no alliance so far. Only the party high command will decide about alliance during polls,” he said.
The references to the cordiality between the two parties in the article could have been to those between central and state governments, led by BJP and AIADMK respectively, he said. Ties were cordial between the two governments even when Jayalalithaa was helming Tamil Nadu, Thambidurai added. He said there is “no connection” between the cordial ties between the parties and their respective governments. But DMK working president M K Stalin said the two parties were indeed a “double-barrelled gun” on issues such as Cauvery and NEET controversy.
“Despite the Supreme Court order, the Centre has not constituted the Cauvery Management Board and the state government seems to endorse that,” he told reporters in Pudukottai. Following the February 16 verdict of the Supreme Court on the Cauvery issue, when it directed the Centre to evolve a ‘scheme’ on the dispute involving Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the ruling AIADMK and the DMK and other political parties in the state have been insisting on setting up of the Board.