Tamil Nadu

Allies must accept CM candidate to remain in front: AIADMK

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.  

Days after the AIADMK formalised Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami as its electoral face for 2021, its senior leaders on Saturday made it clear that only alliance parties who accept him as the Chief Ministerial candidate could be part of their front.

On Friday, BJP State president L. Murugan sidestepped questions on whether Mr. Palaniswami’s candidature would have the NDA’s endorsement as well.

AIADMK deputy coordinator K.P. Munusamy said the decision to project Mr. Palaniswami as the CM candidate was taken by party functionaries after consultations, and it was the party’s policy decision. “Only when political parties accept this, they can be in the alliance,” he told The Hindu.

When it was pointed out that some of AIADMK’s alliance parties had not welcomed the decision or had remained ambiguous in endorsing the decision, the Rajya Sabha MP said, “It is not important for us whether they welcome it or not.”

Citing the case of Bihar, where the BJP, despite being a national party, was supporting Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar as the alliance’s CM candidate for the Assembly poll, Mr. Munusamy reasoned, “When the alliance is headed by us, it is natural that the CM candidate will be from our party.”

Senior AIADMK leader and former MP A. Anwhar Raajhaa said one must understand what an alliance means in politics. “It is an electoral alliance formed to face an election and it is only for that election. The last agreement with the BJP was for the Parliamentary election and we did not formally seek their support for the bypolls in Nanguneri and Vikravandi constituencies but we won,” he pointed out.

Though the Central and State governments had been maintaining cordial ties, the alliance would be finalised only closer to the election.

Mr. Raajhaa said he had insisted that the party leadership not go for what he called a “minus alliance”. “Every party in an electoral alliance should help secure votes for the front and if the vote bank erodes because of an ally in the front, that is what I call a minus alliance,” he said. He said when the AIADMK lost in 1996, it had about 28% votes and it was about 33% in 2006 but the party bagged only about 18% votes in the 2019 Parliamentary election.

Asked if the AIADMK subscribed to the BJP’s plan to organise padayatras to the abodes of Lord Murugan, Mr. Raajhaa said: “The AIADMK government will protect the people’s right to practise religion but if there are law and order issues, the law will take its course.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 12:17:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/allies-must-accept-cm-candidate-to-remain-in-front-aiadmk/article32824195.ece

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