MK Stalin, political heir apparent of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, is the man who matters and it is his line that prevails – be it breaking ties with Congress and pulling out of UPA government or disciplining elder brother MK Alagiri. On the eve of his 61st birthday, he spoke to KV Lakshmana. Excerpts from the exclusive interview:
Where does the DMK figure in the current political situation?
National politics will be decided by regional parties. Kalaignar has been deciding the formation of government at the Centre after every election. He played a key role in selecting VP Singh, Deva Gowda and IK Gujral as prime ministers. He was provided support to AB Vajpayee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Do you think DMK cadres can forget the past and work with Congress, if the two come together again?
Considering that the Congress has hurt the Tamil sentiments for too long, the DMK general council had already discussed, debated and finally taken a decision on breaking ties. Kalaignar’s word is the final call for us.
The AIADMK manifesto promises freebies across the nation. Can you beat it?
We delivered more than we promised — free televisions, laptops, education, skill development measures, micro-finance for women, health insurance. AIADMK promises will not be implemented. In its 2011 assembly poll manifesto, AIADMK promised to create 87.75 lakh jobs, but it remains on paper.
Don’t you think that Jayalalithaa’s ploy to deploy Amma for PM card. The Tamil and Tamilian sentiments would help AIADMK in elections?
The people of Tamil Nadu are aware that every vote cast for Jayalalithaa is a vote for instability at the Centre. After giving sleepless nights to Vajpayee, she toppled his government in 1999. There were three general elections since and the AIADMK never won. This will not change. It is doubtful if leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Nitish Kumar will accept her candidature for PM’s post.
Jayalalithaa is not suffering from any negative issues other than the corruption cases now. What issues you will highlight in your campaign against her?
Jayalalithaa has been heading a government of “just announcements” for three years. There are 3,601 announcements made in assembly. But as on 31st Dec 2013, 2,695 remain as announcements. Undemocratic attitude, corrupt administration, unemployment, law and order, deteriorating economic growth will be highlighted against her.
On alliances at the national level, do you see the need for any rethink in DMK? In the overall interests of Tamil Nadu, will you be willing to be flexible?
Kalaignar will always shape up alliances at the national level keeping the welfare of Tamil Nadu and the Indian democracy in mind. He will cross the bridge when it comes, after the LS polls.