Lok Sabha Poll | Palaniswami justifies selection of mostly new faces as candidates

On ED searches at Vijayabaskar’s residence, AIADMK leader says the party will face it legally

Published - March 21, 2024 05:43 pm IST - CHENNAI

AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami releases the second list of 17 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2024, in Chennai on March 21, 2024

AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami releases the second list of 17 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2024, in Chennai on March 21, 2024 | Photo Credit: ANI

The AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday, March 21, 2024 justified the selection of mostly newcomers for the Lok Sabha election. 

“What is wrong with that?” he retorted when asked by a journalist that the list of 33 candidates including one in Puducherry contained the names of lesser known faces. 

To another question why juniors were preferred to seniors generally, Mr. Palaniswami replied that there was no “senior-junior” status in politics. He recalled that Jayalalithaa had given him opportunities to serve the party when he was a branch secretary. Ability to win, loyalty to the organisation, hard work and services to people were the factors considered while choosing the nominees. 

On the issue of having fielded only one woman, Mr. Palaniswami pointed out that Tirunelveli had been given to a woman candidate. “Ours is a party that gives preference to women,” he observed. 

Also, on not fielding any Muslim, he said that one seat had been given to the Social Democratic Party of India. Moreover, his party believed in the concept - “all are equal.”

On the searches by the Enforcement Directorate at the residence of former Minister C. Vijayabaskar, the AIADMK leader said this would be faced legally. He recalled that in the past, there had been searches by the Income Tax department and the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption. Also, the party, when led by M.G. Ramachandan and Jayalalithaa had encountered several challenges and overcame them successfully. “This time too, we will be successful,” he pointed out. 

He questioned the feasibility of the DMK’s electoral promise of reducing the prices of  petrol and diesel to ₹75 and ₹65 per litre, and said that the ruling party had not even fully fulfilled its assurance, given at the time of Assembly election three years ago, of lowering the price of petrol, let alone diesel. 

Asked whether he was silent in his criticism of the BJP, Mr. Palaniswami answered that it was not part of his party’s culture to abuse a party after cutting ties with the other. However, “when injustice is meted out to Tamil Nadu, we will certainly raise our voice,” he added.

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