Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Assembly polls | ‘BJP MLAs will number in double digit in the House’, says L. Murugan

BJP State president L. Murugan is confident that his party will have ‘double-digit’ MLAs in the Tamil Nadu Assembly after the election. Edited excerpts from an interview he gave The Hindu at the busy BJP campaign office at Koyambedu, Chennai, on Monday.

You said the BJP had winning prospects in 60 seats but have settled for 20 seats in the AIADMK-led alliance…

Our main agenda is that our alliance should win. At the same time, the DMK should not come to power at any cost. Our alliance is very big. Other partners need to be given seats. Based on that, we have taken these many seats.

How many do you expect to win?

We will win all 20. In the coming Assembly, we will have double digit MLAs from our party. Our NDA led by the AIADMK will have a majority and form the next government

Will you seek a share in power?

Our aim is to win the elections. After the elections, we will have to see what our all India leadership decides.

Did the BJP try to rope the AMMK into the alliance?

As I have said earlier, it is for the AIADMK and the AMMK to decide. The BJP didn't interfere in this issue and we won't as well. The AIADMK is the leader of the alliance. We don't know what they will decide.

Who were you referring to as anti-nationals when you recently said this election was a fight between nationalists and anti-nationals?

It is the DMK. I had said that earlier as well. They are against Tamils. Almost 1.5 lakh Tamils were killed [in Sri Lanka] during the Congress regime. The DMK supported them [Congress]. On the issue of insulting the Kanda Sashti Kavasam those who were behind it had the backing of the DMK. In Srirangam, they [DMK leaders] wiped the kumkum on their foreheads and insulted… 

Let me explain how they are anti-nationals. In this country whenever any growth related works are taken up, they protest against that, they only brought in NEET [DMK’s stand is that NEET was not implemented then] but now are saying we don’t need NEET. In the same manner, the Farm Laws…farmers unions have been demanding that they want to fix prices for their produce for a very long time. We have only fulfilled it. The Congress said they will do it, the DMK said this in their manifesto last time, but they didn’t fulfill it. But our government has taken the decision to enhance the lives of farmers, double their income. The DMK is opposing this. We brought in the New Education Policy and we said teaching can be done in mother tongue itself. In schools run by DMK cadre, Hindi and English are being taught as the main languages. They are against farmers, against the development of the nation, they are against Tamil people, Tamil language. They have also destroyed the resources of the country - the 2G scam is a mega scam [all accused acquitted by trial court].

But most of them are policy issues. How does it make them ‘anti-nationals’?

They [DMK] are against the development of the country no? Take for example the Covid crisis. The Tamil Nadu government and the Central government together worked tirelessly and operated efficiently to curtail the spread of the disease. You [Stalin] don’t have to praise the work, at least you shouldn’t criticise on a daily basis. Isn’t he against the nation? Wasn’t it the Congress and the DMK who watched silently as Tamils were massacred in Sri Lanka?

Do you believe that the Devendrakula Velalar issue will work in your favour?

We didn't take this up for the sake of votes. This was taken up way back in 2012 itself. After that Amit Shah’ji came in 2015 and we had the Madurai declaration. [Prime Minister] Modi’ji met their representatives. When I was Scheduled Castes Commission Chairman, we took it up. But none of this was done for votes. It was to acknowledge and retrieve the community’s sentiments on the issue and it was a long pending demand. 

Won’t the exclusive reservation for Vanniyars lead to consolidation of other communities?

This is about social justice. It should reach everyone. The Vanniyars had put forth their demands to the government. The government considered them, and has given the reservation.

But the Bill was passed just before the Election Commission notified the poll schedule…

Not everything should be looked at from the election point of view. For the past 40 years, they have been fighting for the reservation. I look at the issue in the way that the time for providing the reservation had come now.

The Lok Sabha by-poll candidate announcement by your party was made in Hindi and English for a constituency in Tamil Nadu. This has kicked up a controversy

Our Delhi office has their official language as Hindi and English. Even for other States, they follow the same thing. I don’t think there is a need to rake up a controversy on this issue. 

Mr. Pon. Radhakrishnan lost the last Lok Sabha polls by nearly 2.6 lakh votes. Do you believe he stands a chance to win this time in the bypoll? 

Mr. Radhakrishnan has done works to the tune of Rs. 40,000 crore in the constituency as an MP and minister. In the last [Parliamentary] elections, there was a negative propaganda against the BJP. He will definitely win this time. 

In the Lok Sabha election, Tamil Nadu saw an anti-Modi wave…

There was no anti-Modi wave in Tamil Nadu. The negative propaganda was spread by the DMK, Congress. There is only a pro-Modi wave here. People have now understood that none of those propaganda was true. It is due to this that so many people, fishermen, actors, youth, are joining the BJP. Today, even in localities that are seen as dalit localities, we have our units working for them. That is why they are giving us support that the BJP is doing good work.

Why did you seek a ban on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s campaign in Tamil Nadu?

Wherever Rahul Gandhi has gone, he has met with massive failures only. In Tamil Nadu too, the one or two seats they won in the alliance, they will not win this time because Rahul Gandhi’s raasi is like that. We only complained to the EC about him holding a meeting in an educational institution and criticised the Prime Minister and the Centre there after the model code of conduct came into force.

Your party inducted a number of anti-social elements recently…

In our party, anyone can give a missed call and become a member. So they could have become a member like that. We have not given them any work in the party at all. Anyone with a criminal background, we don’t give them any work.

But why aren’t you removing them from the party then?

See like I said, anyone can become a member of our party. But what you have to look at is whether we have given them any work in the party or role in the party. We haven’t done anything of this sort.

What do you have to say about the DMK’s seven agenda points announced by Mr. Stalin on Sunday?

Whatever they have announced is a complete copy of what our Central government is already doing. They are talking about water - our government is doing that under Jal Jeevan mission, we have given an AIIMS, SC-ST scholarship has been allotted to the tune of Rs. 60,000 crore, farm laws.

How do you see the chances of Kamal Haasan’s party?

He will have no impact in the elections.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:54:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamil-nadu-assembly/bjp-mlas-will-number-in-double-digit-in-the-house-says-l-murugan/article34021900.ece

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