July 05 2020
‘Nobody takes Stalin’s views seriously at the national level’
24 December 2018

BJP leader hits out at DMK chief for calling Modi a fascist and projecting Rahul as PM

With the Lok Sabha election on the horizon, the BJP is preparing its cadre in Tamil Nadu to go the extra mile. Insisting that the party would forge an alliance in the State, BJP national general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao, the party’s in-charge for T.N., also criticised DMK president M.K. Stalin, saying the latter was not taken seriously at the national level. Excerpts from an interview:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while interacting with BJP workers in the State, talked about emulating the Tripura model and strengthening every poll booth. Is that going to be your strategy?

This (interaction) is a regular programme. We are a cadre-centric party, and the cadre, in each booth, should always be interacting with and meeting the people, explaining whatever the Centre and the party has done [for them]. We do this not only in Tripura, but across the country.

Isn’t Tamil Nadu a difficult political battleground?

Definitely, we treat T.N. as a challenging State. People here are very politically active and mature. Definitely, one day, we will become very important in the State. That day is not too far away.

There is a perception that the BJP has been acting against Tamil Nadu’s interests on NEET and Mekedatu…

On NEET, there has been a misinformation campaign. Tamil Nadu will actually benefit [from NEET]. Since the Modi government came [to power], we have accorded top priority to Tamil language, Tamil sentiments and interests — at the national and global level. When we deal with Sri Lanka or others, Tamil interests are always protected. The Congress became a marginal player here long ago. Dravidian parties have always projected national parties as not being serious about Tamil Nadu and its history. The regional parties will always project national parties as “Delhi parties”. We will be able to convince [the people otherwise].

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who hails from T.N., is being criticised for participating in a meeting of Karnataka MPs on Mekedatu...

What Nirmala ji [does], I don’t know about that. But T.N. BJP is always for the protection of the State’s interests. We will not compromise [on that].

DMK president M.K. Stalin has been calling Mr. Modi a ‘fascist’…

The problem with Stalin is that he does not understand what he is doing. Aligning with [Congress leader] Rahul Gandhi and then saying BJP is fascist is completely wrong. That (Congress) was the party which imposed an emergency, against which the DMK had fought. The BJP could never go against democracy. The people of the State understand that what he [Stalin] is saying is not correct.

What do you make of Mr. Stalin proposing Mr. Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate?

It is not the correct time for him to tell [this]. Nobody takes him seriously. Stalin is not in government here; he doesn’t have substantial [number of] MPs in Parliament. His proposal is not being taken seriously by his own colleagues at the national level.

Will the BJP form an alliance in T.N.?

The BJP will definitely go into these elections with some kind of an alliance. Consultations are on.



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