MDMK chief Vaiko quits NDA for 'anti-Tamil' stand

  • KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Dec 08, 2014 18:03 IST

Vaiko-led MDMK Monday became the first ally to quit the National Democratic Alliance alliance accusing the Narendra Modi-led government of acting against Tamils.

The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam held a high level committee meeting in Chennai, attended by all district secretaries, which passed a resolution to quit the NDA, the alliance it had joined on the eve of 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The resolution, moved by party supremo Vaiko, declared MDMK cannot be a part of the alliance as the BJP-led government has been insensitive to a host of issues concerning Tamil Nadu.

Vaiko said that when it joined the NDA, the party made it clear that the BJP-led government should not support Sri Lanka and its President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

But Prime Minister Modi's government had gone against its promise, he said.

Vaiko added that the Modi government was also silent on Subramanian Swamy's demand for Bharat Ratna for Rajapaksa, condemning the Sri Lankan president's December 9 visit to the Tirupati temple.

He said the central government was betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu over the Mullaperiyar dam row with Kerala and on the sharing of Cauvery river water with Karnataka.

"The BJP government has not taken care of the peoples' needs in Tamil Nadu," he said accusing the central government of giving permission to review safety aspects of the dam.

The Supreme Court last week dismissed the Kerala government's plea to review its May 7 verdict holding as safe the 120-year-old dam and allowing Tamil Nadu to raise water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completion of strengthening measures on the dam.

"Modi is betraying the people of Tamil Nadu," the MDMK leader said.

The resolution was critical of the "inaction" by the Centre on the Cauvery water sharing issue.

Vaiko also accused the Modi government of imposing Hindi and held it guilty of sanskritisation of education.

The party resolution termed the release of five fishermen, who were saved from death sentence following pardon granted by Rajapaksa, as a "drama" and accused the Centre of not solving the fishermen issue.

"Modi is not following the footsteps of Vajpayee," Vaiko said addressing his partymen.

The MDMK joined the six-party grand alliance led by BJP in Tamil Nadu ahead of May Lok Sabha elections. Though the party contested seven seats out of 39, it could not win any. BJP and PMK, another partner of the NDA alliance, managed to win a seat each.

In 2004, Vaiko had joined hands with the Congress. But within six month, when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government wanted to sign an agreement with the Sri Lanka government, Vaiko condemned it and exited the Congress-led formation.

Over the past two months, the DMK has been wooing Vaiko and its chief Karunanidhi had welcomed all Dravidian parties to come together. DMK senior leader and treasurer, MK Stalin, also met Vaiko at a marriage ceremony recently, sparking off rumours of the impending "home coming" of Vaiko.

Political parties have begun making efforts at realignments keeping the 2016 assembly elections in mind with AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa facing serious threat of getting eliminated from the electoral process.

Playing down the development, senior state BJP leader H Raja said Vaiko was carrying out a negative campaign against the BJP and PM Modi.

Raja said it is wrong to say Modi and central government are not doing anything for the Tamil cause and added it was because of the central government's efforts that five fishermen on death row were released from Sri Lanka within 15 days.

Raja said people are happy with Modi government.

A senior state BJP leader said on condition of anonymity, "It is better that he has quit, rather than stay and fight the BJP from inside."

NDA alliance partner Kongunadu Makkal Katchi's leader E Eswaran said Vaiko's quitting the NDA will have no impact.

Another ally, India Jananayaka Katchi leader Krishnamurthy, said the Modi government was going in the right direction.

The BJP, upbeat with its success in different parts of the country and recent good show in general elections, is getting more ambitious and is working to expand its base in the state.

BJP president Amit Shah is expected to visit Tamil Nadu for two days, December 20 and 21, to energise the party unit and expand its membership.

Clearly, Tamil Nadu is very much on the saffron party's radar.

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