Tamil Nadu

Upcoming election will be decided by women: Kanimozhi

M.K. Kanimozhi M. PERIASAMY

M.K. Kanimozhi M. PERIASAMY

Women voters would decide the outcome of the coming Assembly election, DMK women’s wing secretary Kanimozhi said in an interview to The Hindu here on Sunday.

“The government has let down the women of the State, particularly those who are a part of self-help groups (SHGs). The number of SHGs has come down as the government has not given them the importance that the DMK government did. These women, being politically well informed, will vote the DMK to power,” she said.

The AIADMK government, by failing to empower the SHG members, had pushed them into the hands of usurious moneylenders and, by not enforcing the laws, had failed to protect them, too. “Crimes against women are increasing. The conviction rate is poor. And the Pollachi incident is an example of the lack of protection for women under this government.”

This would help the DMK consider putting up more women in the election, she said in response to a question. “Definitely, there will be more chances for women to contest. But the only way out is the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, which the BJP government at the Centre is not passing, though it is in the BJP’s election manifesto, and several parties are supporting it.”

There are several other issues like unemployment that are contributing to the anti-incumbency. “I am able to see discontentment [with the government] among people at my interactions. The farmers are upset about the gas and oil pipeline. The weavers, too, are unhappy. Particularly, in western Tamil Nadu, all of them have issues, and the government is not ready to even engage with those who are opposing the schemes.” Industry, too, was equally unhappy with this government and the one at the Centre, for it had been unable to come out of the impact of the GST and demonetisation, she said.

In response to a question whether the DMK would repeal the contract farming law passed by the AIADMK government, Ms. Kanimozhi said the DMK would study the law. If it felt that the measure was anti-farmer, the leadership would take a call. “The DMK is opposed to the Centre’s three farm laws because they are anti-farmer and infringe upon the States’ rights because agriculture is a State subject,” she said.

Rajini’s political plunge

On actor Rajinikanth’s entry into politics, Ms. Kanimozhi said the DMK was not worried about his entry. “The DMK is not at all ruffled. The actor has announced the launch of his party for January 2021. Therefore, it will only be fair if I comment thereafter. But I can say that it will not impact the DMK’s victory and you can be sure that M.K. Stalin will be the next Chief Minister.”

On former DMK leader M.K. Alagiri’s statement that he would play a role in the 2021 Assembly election, Ms. Kanimozhi said that as an individual, he had every right to start a party or make political moves. And, as far as his return to the DMK was concerned, it was for the leadership to decide.

Reacting to a State Minister raising the 2G spectrum case and the question whether it would be an issue in the election, she said, “Today, it has become clear that nothing [none of the allegations against me] is proved. The allegations were only assumptions. I don’t think it will come back as an issue. The AIADMK Ministers are raising the issue because they are in panic. And those trying to raise the issue have cases against them like the ghutka scam.”

It was only under this government that the office of the Chief Secretary was raided, she said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 7:06:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/upcoming-election-will-be-decided-by-women/article33266323.ece