Next elections in Tamil Nadu depends on how DMK-Cong, AIADMK-BJP alliances shape up: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu at South Conclave

By: | Published: January 10, 2017 1:02 PM

"Nowadays you cannot hear anything about the Congress in this part of the country - it is a vision of the past," Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu quipped.

Union Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, Tamil Nadu government, Annadurai, MGR, Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa, Congress, AIADMK?Nowadays you cannot hear anything about the Congress in this part of the country ? it is a vision of the past,? Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu quipped. (Source: PTI)

Union Minister M Venkaiah inaugurated Day 2 of the India Today South Conclave 2017. The first session began with a statement by Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu saying, “I am a friend of Tamil Nadu government. Tamil Nadu is one of the most progressive states of the country – be it Annadurai, MGR, Karunanidhi or Jayalalithaa – they took the state forward.”

“Nowadays you cannot hear anything about the Congress in this part of the country – it is a vision of the past,” Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu quipped.

When asked about the political dynamics in Tamil Nadu at present, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “We live in a democratic framework and so we want to work with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to Tamil Nadu and extended his full support to the Chief Minister. Today, the issue is the development of Tamil Nadu and it has to be taken care of by the elected Chief Minister – we have a good equation with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.”

The moderator asked, “Is there an opportunity for BJP to grow in this crisis?”

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “BJP was earlier considered a north Indian party, an urban party but this has changed and we had alliances with AIADMK and DMK. What is special about Tamil Nadu is that there are two strong political parties in the state. This meant that those who didn’t like DMK voted for AIADMK and vice versa and there was no scope for a third scope. It is the same thing in Kerala but next election, that will change. When Madam Jayalalithaa was there, it was difficult for BJP to grow as she had a strong nationalistic outlook.”

“Next elections in Tamil Nadu, it is not clear what combinations will come and work together – will there be DMK-Congress, AIADMK-BJP alliances? Nothing is clear yet. Our focus is on South and North East. For BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a brand everywhere and everyone knows him,” replied Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

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The moderator also asked, “Is the perception correct that BJP would prefer to deal with O. Panneerselvam as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister than Sasikala as CM of the state?”

“You people want to give big headlines and give us deadlines but I will stick to my lines. It would not be fair to comment on this. It is an internal matter of the AIADMK and we will work together with the elected Chief Minister,” said Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

“People gave us a mandate. The government is not interfering with CBI or any other institution. But yes, we took a stand on black money,” said Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

“Jallikkattu issue is not brought by Modi government. We have to see if it should be amended the way it has bee done earlier in Shah Bano case. Personally, I think that jallikkattu is a tradition,” said Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

All questions put to Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Day 2 of the South Conclave were centered around the theme of federalism. The questions also touched upon the Centre’s approach to policy-making and regional alliances in other states, with a special focus on the southern states.

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