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'With what face will the BJP seek votes in Tamil Nadu?'

December 31, 2020 11:24 IST

'They have been imposing Hindi on Tamil Nadu.'

IMAGE: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M K Stalin. All photographs: Kind courtesy M K Stalin/Facebook

Political parties in Tamil Nadu are flexing their muscles in preparation for the assembly election which will be held in April-May 2021.

Leaders of both the major Dravidian parties -- the AIADMK and the DMK -- are visiting various parts of the state to meet voters.

This election -- the first after the demise of Tamil political stalwarts J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi -- promises to be riveting.

DMK Spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai decodes the countdown to the state election. Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar listens in.

 

M K Azhagiri (DMK leader M K Stalin's elder brother who was expelled from the party) has said he will make a difference in the assembly election.

We don't want to offer any comments on that.

Asaduddin Owaisi says his party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen will contest the election as well. Will Owaisi and the MIM get votes in Tamil Nadu?

We already have many parties representing the minorities in Tamil Nadu.

The Dravidian parties are all inclusive. We encompass the welfare of the minorities. They are adequately represented in our party.

We are sceptical about the impact Owaisi will have in Tamil Nadu.

What was the impact of the BJP's Vel Yatra?

Zilch!

The BJP is planning to send its central and chief ministers to every district in Tamil Nadu. How do you think will they be received?

They don't even know Tamil. They have been imposing Hindi on Tamil Nadu. With what face will they come and seek votes here?

Considering the Bihar election results, are you planning to give fewer seats to the Congress?

All these issues will be decided by the leadership when the time comes. It is premature to talk about that now.

IMAGE: Stalin with his son Udhayanidhi.

The elevation of M K Stalin's son Udhayanidhi as president of the DMK youth wing has apparently upset many seniors in the party.

I don't think there is any basis for this news.

It is at the suggestion of the seniors in the party that he was inducted.

He has seamlessly communicated with all the seniors in the party.

He enjoys their confidence and has a wonderful rapport with them.

Your primary opponent in this election is the AIADMK, the state's ruling party, which has teamed up with the BJP, which is the ruling party at the Centre. What is your strategy to deal with this combine?

Our leader M K Stalin has launched our campaign, 'We reject ADMK'.

He has warned the party cadre that we will be up against money power, official power and a biased media.

He has asked the cadre and the leaders not to give that as an excuse and to work hard and reach out to the common man.

Our innovative campaign strategies will ensure that we romp home with more than 200 seats.

Will the pandemic affect your campaigning methods?

Our party leader has reached out to our cadre through an online campaign.

We are the only party which has conducted so many online events.

Our general council online meeting was one of the world's biggest online political events.

We are overcoming the constraints of the pandemic with technology.

IMAGE: DMK spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai. Photograph: ANI Photo

Do you think that money will be used to purchase votes?

They think that they can purchase votes. But however much money they are going to give is not going to change the mindset of the voter.

You have been out of power for 10 years. Does that make the election more difficult?

No! We had an emphatic victory in the Lok Sabha election.

We are the third largest party in the Lok Sabha.

This was made possible by our leader M K Stalin's immaculate leadership qualities. We are continuing in the same path.

With our leader's abilities and the hard work and determination of the party cadres, we will be able to overcome any and all difficulties.

Do you think the seat sharing exercise with your allies will be smooth?

It will be because we are experts in stitching alliances since 1967, when we first came to power.

We have always had rainbow alliances; we believe in inclusivity, which is the reason our alliances are always strong.

Can we expect any change of allies before the election?

Our leader M K Stalin has said that the alliance is intact and it will continue.

Will Tamil Nadu go from single party rule to a coalition?

I don't think a coalition is a possibility.

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com

A GANESH NADAR