interview | A.J. Sherine Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | People want better quality of life, not freebies: NTK Thousand Lights candidate

A.J. Sherine, 28, of the Naam Tamilar Katchi, will be contesting from the Thousand Lights constituency in the coming Assembly election. A postgraduate in Maths, she is currently pursuing her doctorate. She decided to take the political plunge in 2016 and also contested the 2019 Parliamentary election. Excerpts from an interview:

Why did you decide to get into politics and choose the Naam Tamilar Katchi?

I wanted to give back to society in some way.

The party’s ideology of Tamil nationalism, its vision to improve the living conditions of the people and its efforts to protect natural resources through its environment wing drew me to it.

We have been involved in desilting and restoring waterbodies.

In the last Parliamentary election, the party's vote share crossed just 3.5%. Do you think it will change this time?

Yes. We are confident that it will improve significantly in this election. The media have not been showcasing our work adequately.

What makes you think the people will vote for the NTK? Is the party’s ideology relevant enough to draw a significant share of the vote?

First of all, we see that many are fed up and angry with the ruling party, as just in the past year itself, their needs were ignored during the pandemic.

Simply offering freebies, like washing machines, won’t help.

When the people are living in matchbox-size houses with no water supply, where will they even keep their appliances?

The NTK has promised free and quality education and healthcare. We will help the people get better jobs and improve their living conditions instead of giving away things for free.

The NTK has allotted 50% seats to women. But internally, are your voices being heard and your opinions valued?

Yes. Whenever a meeting is convened, it never happens without the women's wing. We get equal importance, and many of our opinions have translated into decisions.

You have two strong competitors — Khushbu of the BJP and N. Ezhilan of the DMK. How do you plan to take them on?

I just see them as opponents. Their respective parties are only seeking alliances, but we are fighting alone across the State. I will humbly put forth to the voters what we plan to do and explain how beneficial it would be to them to have a change of government.

If elected, I will transform Thousand Lights into a model constituency for the State.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 11:31:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamil-nadu-assembly/people-want-better-quality-of-life-not-freebies/article34145390.ece

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