Party will lead the alliance in Tamil Nadu: AIADMK

Party will lead the alliance in Tamil Nadu: AIADMK's message to BJP

Munusamy exhorted party cadres to work hard to ensure the party emerged victorious in the polls next year

The BJP has to endorse Chief Minister K Palaniswami's candidature for the CM's post, the AIADMK indicated. Credit: PTI file photo.

Affirming that the legacy of M G Ramachandran rests solely with it, Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK on Sunday asserted that Edappadi K Palaniswami will be the Chief Ministerial face of the alliance for the 2021 assembly elections, while making it clear to its allies, including BJP, that there was no chance of a coalition government.

At the launch of the AIADMK's campaign for the assembly elections due in the first half of 2021, AIADMK deputy coordinator K P Munusamy launched a veiled attack on the BJP by alleging that a few national parties were trying to “discredit” the 50-year rule by Dravidian parties, after the death of veterans M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.

Speakers at the three-hour-long rally invoked the name of AIADMK founder MGR and his legacy, sending out a clear message to BJP, actors Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth who claim to establish “MGR rule” in Tamil Nadu.

While Palaniswami and his deputy Panneerselvam refrained from talking about the alliance or using strong words against “national parties”, Munusamy went full-throttle against BJP which is toying with the idea of a coalition government in Tamil Nadu.

“We will have to work hard to achieve victory in 2021 assembly elections. If we come to power for a third straight term in 2021, the next 50 years would only witness AIADMK rule in Tamil Nadu. There is no need or talk of a coalition government. Parties, be it national or regional, who come to us with the thought of a coalition government, please think,” Munusamy said, with OPS and EPS in rapt attention.

He also asserted that the alliance will be led by AIADMK and its Chief Ministerial face will be Palaniswami as announced in October.

The comments by Munusamy, also a Rajya Sabha MP, assumes significance in the wake of the BJP maintaining that the Chief Ministerial face of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in which AIADMK is the major partner in Tamil Nadu will only be announced by the national leadership.

The BJP's refusal to acknowledge Palaniswami as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the alliance had led to friction within the AIADMK alliance. During a government function attended by Amit Shah in Chennai last month, EPS and OPS had announced that the alliance with BJP will continue for 2021 elections.

In their speech, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam tore into the Opposition DMK and accused it of “spreading lies” against the AIADMK government. Palaniswami said that AIADMK was the only “democratic party” in India where even an ordinary cadre can assume the post of Chief Minister.

“Today, I am the Chief Minister and it could be OPS. Tomorrow, it could be you (pointing to the crowd). AIADMK is the only party where even a cadre can become Chief Minister. We are not heirs. In fact, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa do not have any heirs. The people of Tamil Nadu are their heirs,” Palaniswami said.

Palaniswami asked AIADMK cadre to “bust” the DMK's “misinformation campaign” and take to them the achievements of the party-led government. On his part, Panneerselvam said the AIADMK was “friendly” with the BJP only for the betterment of Tamil Nadu.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox