Chennai

Disquiet in AIADMK over silence on JNU mob attack

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Many veterans in AIADMK want the leadership to take a stand to dispel notion of subservience to BJP

The AIADMK leadership should have condemned the attack on students and teachers on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on Sunday. Its continued silence will only give more credence to the criticism of the Opposition that the party is “subservient” to the BJP, according to many veterans in the party.

“You do not have to mention specifically against or in favour of any party or organisation. But a mere statement that we are against violence of any form and the attack on the students and teachers is condemnable, would have sent out a strong message,” say the members.

These members, many of whom are functionaries, point out that there is a strong perception in certain quarters that the AIADMK regime is toeing what the BJP-led government at the Centre has been doing.

Even though Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami or Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar has, at times, publicly clarified on many occasions that the State government’s position is at variance with that of the Centre, be it on the language issue or the NEET issue, the impression that the AIADMK regime goes “out of the way to be accommodative” of the Union government’s stand has not been “effectively erased,” they say.

Citizenship law

Already, there is a view in certain quarters of the party that the controversy over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is one of the factors that have adversely affected the interests of the party in the recent elections to rural local bodies. This was publicly articulated by former Member of Parliament A. Anwhar Raajahaa last week.

The senior members say the party could not afford to lose the support of minorities in the forthcoming polls to urban local bodies and other rural local bodies.

Analysing the outcome of the rural local body polls, they said the wrong choice of candidates, “favouritism” by the party’s secretaries at the levels of district and panchayat unions with regard to distribution of party ticket and lack of coordination among the functionaries and others are among the reasons for the poor performance of the AIADMK in certain districts. Anti-incumbency is another major factor. Even though the DMK is said to have experienced the same problem of “favouritism,” the AIADMK’s position had been weakened by its relationship with the Centre.

The senior members are not suggesting any confrontation with the BJP or the Central government but they say that the leadership should, in a sustained manner, make it clear that the party's support cannot be taken for granted by the BJP. Besides, it should hold extensive discussions with district-level functionaries, just as former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa did in 1997 and 2004, for motivating the party cadre and addressing the problem of “disconnect.”

Asked about the “silence” of the party leadership on the JNU violence, Marudhu Alaguraj, one of the spokespersons of the AIADMK, said his party’s principle position was that it did not favour violence in any form.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:00:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/disquiet-in-aiadmk-over-silence-on-jnu-mob-attack/article30520265.ece

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