Tamil Nadu

T.N. Cabinet waiting for an Eknath Shinde to emerge, says Annamalai

BJP State president K. Annamalai and party workers observing a day-long fast at Valluvarkottam in Chennai on Tuesday.

BJP State president K. Annamalai and party workers observing a day-long fast at Valluvarkottam in Chennai on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: R. RAGU

BJP Tamil Nadu president K. Annamalai said on Tuesday that the Tamil Nadu Cabinet was waiting for the emergence of an Eknath Shinde (rebel Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister).

Drawing parallels between Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s family and DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi’s family, Mr. Annamalai said the first sons of both leaders failed in films, the second sons were estranged from the families, the third sons [Uddhav Thackeray and M.K. Stalin respectively] had the opportunity to be the Chief Ministers, while the grandsons [Aaditya Thackeray and Udhayanidhi Stalin] had political ambitions.

“Just like how an Eknath Shinde came up in the Shiv Sena [and ousted Mr. Uddhav Thackeray with the BJP’s support], the Tamil Nadu Cabinet is waiting for an Eknath Shinde to emerge,” he said, addressing party workers at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai after a day-long fast against the DMK’s alleged failure to fulfil its election promises.

Mr. Annamalai said party workers would undertake a one-year padayatra from January 1, 2023, if the DMK government does not fulfil its 505 election promises by the year-end.

“You made 505 promises. Even after 15 months in government [the DMK entered office in May 2021], you have not fulfilled them, including the one to halve the number of Tasmac [liquor] shops. If you don’t fulfil the promises by December 31 this year, we will begin a padayatra on January 1, 2023 from the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari, and it will culminate in Gopalapuram [Karunanidhi’s residence],” Mr. Annamalai said.

He urged party workers to sacrifice personal and professional lives for one year to bring in a political change and ensure 25 BJP MPs were elected from Tamil Nadu to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “next government”. He would participate in the padayatra as an ordinary worker of the party.

“We will go to all 77,000 polling booths in the State. We will go to all the villages in small teams. Only after enlightening the people in villages about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s welfare measures, will we leave from there,” he said.

While Mr. Stalin claimed that property tax won’t be hiked, it was hiked by more than 150%, the promise of petrol-diesel price cut was only partially fulfilled, with petrol price alone cut by ₹3 a litre even after the Modi government brought the petrol price down by ₹14.50 a litre and diesel price by ₹17 a litre since November 2021, he added.

“Even a State like Uttar Pradesh that is considered backward has cut the fuel price by ₹12, while the DMK which is tom-tomming that Tamil Nadu is a developed State refuses to bring it down,” he said.

According to him, the DMK was indulging in gimmicks by presenting an agriculture budget while not helping farmers. While Mr. Stalin claimed that his government would create 2 lakh jobs, nothing was done. “But Mr. Modi has set a target of creating 10 lakh jobs in the Central government by December 31, 2024, even though this was not part of our election promise,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 7:35:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-cabinet-waiting-for-an-eknath-shinde-to-emerge-says-annamalai/article65603095.ece