Tamil Nadu

I became CM the way Karunanidhi did, says Palaniswami

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami campaigning in Sriperumbadur on Wednesday   | Photo Credit: Velankanni Raj B

Countering DMK president M.K. Stalin’s narrative that AIADMK leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami was not elected Chief Minister by popular support, the latter on Wednesday contended that he assumed office the way former DMK leader M. Karunanidhi occupied the post after the death of C.N. Annadurai in 1969.

“He [Annadurai] became the CM by hard work but he died, unfortunately. Karunanidhi became the CM by conspiracy. He [Karunanidhi] was not elected as the CM directly. People voted only for Annadurai because they thought he had the qualification and standing to become the CM of Tamil Nadu. Not for Karunanidhi. Like the way he [Karunanidhi] became the CM, this Edappadi Palaniswami became the CM,” the AIADMK leader said.

During his election campaign at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, Mr. Palaniswami referred to Mr. Stalin’s narrative and said only MLAs elected by the people, could elect the Chief Minister themselves. Only parties with majority MLAs could elect their Legislature Party Leader, who could become the Chief Minister, he underlined.

“Mr. Stalin said I crawled to become the Chief Minister. His father jumped to become the CM. Kavignar Kannadasan in his autobiography has explained how Karunanidhi travelled on a train. But, I did not come that way. I was born in a farming family and I am into agriculture even today. Mine is the straight way. You took the short cut and hence you have a crooked mind,” Mr. Palaniswami charged.

As for Mr. Stalin’s criticism that Mr. Palaniswami repeatedly called himself a farmer, the CM questioned: “What else should I call myself? You tell me.. He does not have any other occupation. What can we do about that? It would be okay if you had come up in life after working hard. You are depending on people’s work.”

The CM said, “If people make you the Chief Minister, accept it. I have nothing against it. I have never said I am the Chief Minister. People are the Chief Minister. They are. The CM’s job is to implement their orders.”

The CM went on to say that Mr. Stalin can go on dreaming to become the Chief Minister but it would never happen. Referring to Mr. Stalin’s public meetings with the people, Mr. Palaniswami questioned why the DMK leader did not meet the people when he was in power. “What happened to all the petitions Mr. Stalin received before the elections in 2019? You cheated people and won the elections. Now, you are trying to cheat them again. When you are in power, you will only think of your family. You will not see people,” he claimed.

Mr. Palaniswami said during his Chief Ministership of three years and 11 months, the AIADMK government has received several prizes and laurels at the national level. He compared how his government had served the people, and said it was better than the erstwhile DMK regime.

Later, in Wallajabad, Mr. Palaniswami said if the DMK came to power, the law and order situation in the State would deteriorate and women would not be able to walk freely. He accused DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin of making derogatory remarks against women and warned that Mr. Stalin would lose the position of the Leader of the Opposition because of him. Recalling an attempt to assault Jayalalithaa in the Assembly premises in 1989, he said: “The people should think how the DMK will protect women. If they come to power, women cannot walk freely. If they come to power, the law and order situation will deteriorate.”

At a campaign meeting in Chengalpattu, he referred to the AIADMK government’s ₹2,500 assistance for rice ration cardholders, and said Mr. Stalin did not have the heart to give to people and went to court to challenge the scheme.

“Have you [Mr. Stalin] ever distributed essentials to the people for free? Have you seen the poor? No.” Mr. Palaniswami said.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:40:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/i-became-cm-the-way-karunanidhi-did-says-palaniswami/article33617588.ece

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