Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today accused AIADMK deputy general secretary and his rival in the party T T V Dhinakaran of “colluding with the opposition DMK” to topple his government. Without naming Dhinakaran, who has been demanding his ouster as chief minister, Palaniswami said, “Some are believing the DMK and making a miscalculation that they can bring down this regime and break the party (AIADMK).” The chief minister was addressing the gathering at the centenary celebrations of late chief minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, here in western Tamil Nadu. Palaniswami hit out at Dhinakaran, who claims the support of 21 of the 134 MLAs of the ruling AIADMK, alleging that he had “joined hands with a party that was considered as an evil force” by MGR. “They (the Dhinakaran camp) are not bothered about this party (AIADMK) and the government,” he said and added that it was not even appropriate to expect that from the rival faction as Dhinakaran was expelled from the AIADMK by “Amma” (late chief minister J Jayalalithaa). “The almighty, which is Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, will punish them,” he said. Stating that “doubts” about his government’s stability were raised from “day one” by political rivals, Palaniswami said they “confused” the people by raking up such suspicions. On the contrary, the government was going ahead smoothly and all the schemes for the people were being implemented, he added. “What are the deficiencies that you have found in this government?” Palaniswami asked the gathering and listed out the welfare measures initiated by his regime, including the Kudimaramathu initiative (an ancient practice of desilting waterbodies with participation from the common people and farmers) and distribution of laptops among students for free. Attacking the DMK, without naming it, for its refrain that his regime had become a “slave” of the BJP-led central government, he said his government enjoyed a cordial relationship with the C
Centre as only then the state could get the much-needed development schemes, new plans and fundings for the same. The chief minister referred to the Japanese industrial township in the state, announced two days ago by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to drive home his point. In a series of questions pointed at the DMK, he wanted to know what did it achieve on the “lifeline issues” of Tamil Nadu such as the Cauvery and Mullaperiyar during its over-a- decade-long stint at the Centre as part of various regimes. He accused the main opposition party in the state of “only taking care of its family interests”. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, in his address, likened the AIADMK faction, led by Palaniswami and him, to a “mountain”. “The AIADMK is a mountain. If anyone bangs against it, his head will be shattered to pieces…this is a warning to the conspirators who are trying to topple this government,” the former chief minister said.
Earlier in the day, Palaniswami flagged off vehicles, marking the launch of “Swachhta hi Sewa” (Thooimaye Sevai Iyakkam), a cleanliness drive of the Centre, in seven districts of the state at a function in Salem, his native district. He also inaugurated a Rotavirus vaccination scheme for infants. Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, speaking at the centenary fete, said the “Navodaya” schools were about the “three-language formula”, and asserted that the AIADMK would not waver from the two-language formula. These comments of his came against the backdrop of opposition from various political parties to the opening of Navodaya schools in the state. The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had recently directed the Tamil Nadu government to take a decision on issuing a no-objection certificate for opening the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in the state within eight weeks. Following this, there was opposition to it from various political parties in the state, including the DMK, which claimed that it would lead to an “imposition” of the Hindi language.