Tamil Nadu

Season of defections ahead of 2021 Assembly polls in T.N.

Flags of various hues. File photo  

Months ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections, political parties in Tamil Nadu have rolled out the red carpet for defectors. Besides, they are actively pursuing sulking functionaries in the rival camps, persuading them to switch political loyalties.

The last month or so has seen quite a few second-rung disgruntled functionaries in different parties walking over to the other side. Some had also returned to the fold of their parent parties.

Two AIADMK leaders —former minister V.S. Vijay and former MP Lakshmanan — had recently crossed over to the DMK, the main opposition party even though such migrations would happen from the opposition to the ruling party before the run-up to the elections.

But what surprised many is the defection of former Deputy Speaker V.P. Duraisamy to the BJP, which is ideologically at the other end of the political spectrum. Expelled DMK MLA Ku Ka Selvam has also endorsed the BJP, though he has not formally joined it.

Mr. Duraisamy, however, said he was not uncomfortable in the BJP after having spent so many years in the Dravidian parity. “I do not find it difficult to join the BJP as I have faith in God and my community is known for its pious religious character. I cannot shed what I have imbibed from the community,” he contended.

“Tell me who among the politicians are not going to temples and praying at home,” he asked. He charged that the 50-year-rule of Dravidian parties had only seen looting of public exchequer.

Mr. Duraisamy also rejected the suggestion that he and Mr.Selvam left the DMK because of personal reasons and defections would not benefit the BJP.

“There is a saying in Tamil, that Kudiraikku Kollum Maatukku Pullum kodukkanum (Feed the horse, horsegram and the cow, grass). A great leader is one who spots the talent and assigns work accordingly. A good worker will reap rich dividends for the party in which he is a member,” he insisted.

DMK MP T.K.S. Elangovan though admitted that inclusion of members from rival parties was unlikely to make a great difference during the elections, it would damage the image of the rival parties. “At least at the local level, people will understand that all is not well with the ruling party,” he said.

When asked about the new trend of members of Dravidian parties joining the BJP, he alleged that the national party had purchased them as they were in financial crisis.

Mr.Elangovan said only a very few in a political party were committed to the party principles and ideology and others were in politics for the sake of politics.

“So, defecting from one party to another will not cause them any discomfort,” he said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 10:38:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/season-of-defections-ahead-of-2021-assembly-polls-in-tn/article32437577.ece

Next Story