Tamil Nadu

Stalin justifies attending Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in ceremony

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray greeted by DMK president M. K. Stalin after his swearing-in ceremony as the 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray greeted by DMK president M. K. Stalin after his swearing-in ceremony as the 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra   | Photo Credit: PTI

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The DMK leader said it was the stand of the party to offer moral support and protect the rights of States when there was an attempt to buy democracy

DMK leader M.K. Stalin on Saturday justified his participation in the swearing-in ceremony of Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, saying that it was the stand of the DMK to offer moral support to protect the rights of States when there was an attempt to bury democracy through horse-trading.

Reacting to the criticism that the DMK had supported Shiv Sena, a party wedded to Hindutva and worked against the Tamils in Maharashtra, Mr. Stalin said similar criticism had been levelled when the DMK joined the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.

“But the DMK never toed the line of the BJP. It supported the BJP government on the basis of a common minimum programme and forced the government to put on the back-burner issues such as the common civil code, construction of the Ram temple and abrogation of Article 370,” he said.

Mr. Stalin said even though the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress were ideologically opposed to the Shiv Sena, they had formed a “secular government” to protect the interest of the state and the welfare of the people.

“In my congratulatory message to Mr. Thackeray, I expressed the hope that the government would offer inclusive growth and ensure overall development,” he said.

He agreed that the Shiv Sena, when launched with the slogan of “sons of the soil of Maharashtra,” may pose a threat to Tamils. “Tamils were also subjected to attacks in the past. When Kalaignar was the Chief Minister, he wrote a letter to the Centre explaining that if Tamils were attacked, it would pose a question on the existence of North Indians in Tamil Nadu. Only after that, the attacks on Tamils were stopped,” he said

Mr. Stalin also recalled the Mr. Karunanidhi’s visit to Mumbai when he was the leader of the opposition and the visit made by Bal Thackeray for a discussion.

“Normally leaders would meet Thackeray at his residence. But he chose to call on our leader at the hotel where he had stayed. Both had a discussion on the rights of States. He also appreciated our leader’s firm stand on the issue. The meeting further ensured the safety of Tamils,” Mr Stalin said.

Mr. Stalin also said Bal Thackeray condemned it when Mr. Karunanidhi was arrested and published a news report in his official organ Samana against the arrest. “Though there are many differences in ideologies, the new relationship in Maharashtra has come as a beginning to protect democracy and the rights of states. The swearing-in ceremony has saved the garland of democracy from the hands of the retrograde forces that sought to tear apart it,” he further said.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 4:18:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-justifies-attending-uddhav-thackerays-swearing-in-ceremony/article30123090.ece

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