Stalin attacks BJP after taking over as DMK chief

After taking over as DMK president, M K Stalin on Tuesday launched a frontal attack on the BJP by asking his cadre to march along with him to “teach a lesson” to the Narendra Modi government, which he accused of “trying to saffronise” the country. Picture courtesy Twitter

After taking over as DMK president, M K Stalin on Tuesday launched a frontal attack on the BJP by asking his cadre to march along with him to “teach a lesson” to the Narendra Modi government, which he accused of “trying to saffronise” the country.

Stalin's statement is aimed at scotching speculation that the DMK would not mind doing business with the BJP in a post-poll scenario after the regional party invited the ruling party at the Centre for a memorial event organised for its late leader M Karunanidhi.

Stalin's attack on the BJP is significant since the party has been at pains to explain its decision to invite the national party for Karunanidhi memorial event in Chennai on August 30. Though BJP chief Amit Shah had initially agreed to attend the event, he back-tracked at the last minute and has now deputed Nitin Gadkari to represent the party. The invitation to Shah had led to widespread speculation whether the DMK was willing to dump its long-time ally the Congress and embrace the BJP.

In his 15-minute speech after he was unanimously elected as the DMK president, Stalin referred to the BJP twice – accusing the Modi dispensation of “trying to weaken the federal structure” and “attempting to saffronise” the whole of India.

“March along with me to teach a lesson to the Narendra Modi government which is attempting to saffronise the entire country,” Stalin said in his address to the DMK cadre. He also launched a scathing attack on the Edappadi K Palaniswami government calling it a “dispensation of thieves” and appealed to the cadre to keep in the mind that the first job before the party was to send to the AIADMK government home.

“Education, art, literature and religion are under attack by authoritative and communal forces and the Union government is trying to destabilise the judiciary...All these actions have dealt a blow to the secular principles,” Stalin charged.

Maintaining that he can never be and should not be compared with Karunanidhi, Stalin told his cadre that his father has imbibed him in the quality of striving hard to work towards achieving a goal. Stalin was made the president, in a smooth transition of generational change in the party’s leadership, 45 years after he formally entered politics by joining the General Council.

The announcement of Stalin’s election as DMK president was announced by party general secretary K Anbhazhagan formally at the General Council meeting at the Anna Arivalayam in Chennai. The party had received only one nomination for the post, paving the way for Stalin to be elected unopposed.

With Stalin shedding the treasurer's post which he held since 2009, his lieutenant S Durai Murugan will now be the official financial officer of the DMK. The General Council is the most powerful body in the DMK, according to whose constitution elections will have to be held for the posts of president, general secretary and treasurer.

Stalin, 65, was handpicked by his father to lead the DMK and was appointed as working president when age-related ailments confined Karunanidhi to his home in early 2017. The biggest challenge for Stalin is to steer the DMK to victory in the Lok Sabha polls next year and re-install the party’s government in Tamil Nadu – where it has not won an election since 2011.

Stalin’s challenge would also be to stitch formidable alliances and ensure that the DMK continues to be a strong player in national politics too. Stalin’s transition from working president to president of the DMK was smooth though his elder brother M K Azhagiri made some noise over being ignored. Azhagiri, who was expelled from the DMK by Karunanidhi in 2014, is waiting to rejoin the party and is organising a rally in Chennai next month to demonstrate his strength.

 

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Stalin attacks BJP after taking over as DMK chief

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