Interview | M.K. Stalin Tamil Nadu

‘DMK’s alliance is based on ideology, not numbers’

CHENNAI, 08/02/2019: DMK President and Opposition Leader M.K. Stalin (holding copy of The Hindu following the exclusive story published on Friday that reveals how Defence Ministry protested against the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) undermining Rafale negotiations) coming out of the Assembly on the first day of State Budget for 2019-20 at the State Secretariat, Chennai on February 08, 2019. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM

In the concluding part of the interview with The Hindu, DMK president M.K. Stalin says the seat-sharing exercise with the allies will be a smooth affair. Excerpts:

Will the DMK contest in maximum number of seats or take along allies? You could not secure an absolute majority in the 2006 Assembly election...

The DMK alliance is not based on just numbers. It is an alliance of consensus. It is an ideology-based alliance. We have brought together hearts only through ideology. The alliance partners are working with the common objective of forming a DMK government. The seat-sharing talks will start at an appropriate time. It will be conducted in a smooth manner. Wait till the election dates are announced.

Some of your allies, who contested on the ‘Rising Sun’ symbol in 2019, are desirous of fighting the Assembly election on own symbols...

The parties came forward to contest on our symbol in view of the winning probabilities. There was no compulsion on them from the DMK.

Even during Anna’s [C.N. Annadurai’s] time, some allies contested on the ‘Rising Sun’ symbol. When allies come forward to contest on a symbol that has secured a place in the hearts of people, it is our duty to allow them. It is purely based on the friendship between us. That talk that we compelled them is the handiwork of those who seek to drive a wedge in our alliance. Let the media not fall prey to their campaign.

Will there be any change in the composition of the DMK alliance? Is there a possibility of parties from the AIADMK camp joining your front?

Our alliance is strong. You will see whether the AIADMK alliance exists or not only after the election dates are announced.

How do you assess the performance of your son and youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin, who has been campaigning? Will he be given ticket? If so, would it not encourage the criticism of perpetuating family politics?

If DMK members as a family are working for the party for generations, can it be termed family politics? If working for a party is family politics, Udhayanidhi Stalin follows the same principle in working for the party and campaigns against the AIADMK government to achieve the formation of a good government by the DMK. He is campaigning for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu. His enthusiasm and campaign are quite natural because he is the grandson of Kalaignar [late patriarch M. Karunanidhi]. He campaigned for our alliance even in the Lok Sabha election, and is doing it for the Assembly election. You can find from the media reports that his campaigns are well received. The DMK accords priority to only those who work. I got the opportunity [to rise] only through work. Every cadre had come up the ladder only by doing party work. The talk of giving priority to Udhayanidhi and family politics are just entertainment for the habitual critics of the DMK.

What is the need for engaging election strategists like Prashant Kishor since the DMK is a grassroots movement with a cadre base? Moreover, the DMK district secretaries know the pulse...

The media does not criticise national parties such as the Congress and the BJP and other regional parties, including the AIADMK, if they engage advisers. Even the AIADMK has it. Social media and websites play an important role in elections. The arrangement is only to guide the party functionaries in the use of information technology and nothing else. We should not forget that it is an age of information technology. The DMK and its district secretaries are capable of facing any election and enemies. Former Chief Minister M. Bhaktavatsalam had appreciated the election work of the DMK. The DMK has no two opinions on the fact that only political principle would prevail over anything else. The DMK won people’s support through uncompromising political principles and its work for the welfare of people. They know that the DMK government will strive hard for the welfare of Tamils and Tamil Nadu. They are ready for such a government because they know that it alone can develop the State and safeguard its rights at the Centre. They feel that only the DMK can arrest the fall of the State in the last 10 years. Only four months are left. People will answer all questions. You know that people’s voice is the voice of god.

Are you still firm on your stand that total prohibition would be in force if the DMK is elected to power?

You will find the answer in our manifesto. It will not be fair to announce it in advance.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 4:39:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dmks-alliance-is-based-on-ideology-not-numbers/article33613544.ece

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