AIADMK minister, who attacked BJP over CAA, backtracks on ‘snap ties’ remark
This is not the first time that AIADMK ministers have criticised the BJP. The party’s popular Muslim face, Anwar Raja, had put the blame on the CAA for AIADMK’s poor show in panchayat polls.Updated: Jan 22, 2020 18:23 IST
A member of the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday backtracked on his remarks about breaking ties with ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
G Baskaran, who is also the minister for Khadi and Village Industries, had said on Tuesday, “In the cabinet, all the ministers were opposed to the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA. We are waiting for the opportune time to snap ties with the BJP. It is the BJP that had let us down in the elections. We want to be on our own.” He was addressing the 103rd birth anniversary celebration of party founder M G Ramachandran at Ilayankudi in Sivaganga district.
“The BJP votes had not come to the AIADMK, as they had supported the DMK even in Muslim pockets like Ilayamnkudi,” he further claimed.
He represents Sivaganga in the Assembly which has a sizeable Muslim population.
But on Wednesday, Baskaran made a u-turn saying he had only spoken about the CAA, against which protest rallies are being held across the state.
“I have only elaborated the party’s position on the CAA and have not said anything about the ties with the BJP which remain strong,” he told reporters at Karaikudi.
This comes after senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar made it clear that Baskaran’s comments could be his personal view and not that of the party.
But this is not the first time that AIADMK ministers have criticised their ally. Senior AIADMK leader and the party’s popular Muslim face, Anwar Raja, had put the blame on the CAA for the party’s poor show in the panchayat polls. “The party’s minority support base had drifted away since the AIADMK is being seen as playing ball to the BJP,” he had alleged.
After the panchayat elections, the allies were engaged in war of words after senior BJP leader and former Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan gave vent to his ire against the Dravidian major.
“The BJP could have won at more places had it contested alone,” he had said blaming the AIADMK for playing a big brother’s role in seat sharing.
This led to a heated exchange between Jayakumar and Radhakrishnan. Though it did not lead to a break-up of ties, the simmering discontent between the two had not seen a closure.
Further deepening the divide between the two is the Rajinikanth-Periyar controversy. While the state BJP leaders have been backing the Tamil superstar, the AIADMK had stuck to its Dravidian roots.
“We cannot tolerate any insult to our icons Periyar, Anna (CN Anndurai), MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa. Rajinikanth talked about what had not happened at the rally led by Periyar in 1971 at Salem. When Thuglak (magazine started by political commentator Cho Ramasamy) itself had not reported about it, he is talking about it. We cannot allow insult to Periyar and the government will take steps to put an end to this,” Jayakumar told the media.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) also made it clear that the party considers Periyar’s ideas are like a ‘kalash’ (urn) in a temple tower.
“It was because of Periyar’s yeoman service to uplift the underprivileged, an ordinary person like me could reach such a height. People criticising Periyar should first read his works in its entirety,” he said.