Boost for DMK as rival leaders from BJP and AIADMK join party
Arasakumar had given a clear indication of switching sides when he profusely praised Stalin in his presence at a family function of a DMK MLA in Chennai on December 1.Updated: Dec 05, 2019 21:58 IST
A senior Tamil Nadu BJP leader and a close aide of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister left their respective parties to join the opposition DMK on Thursday, capping an interesting day in state politics.
A vice president of Tamil Nadu BJP, B T Arasakumar made the move after publicly praising MK Stalin four days ago while predicting the DMK boss will soon become the state chief minister, much to the BJP’s embarrassment.
Viswanathan’s defection to the DMK was also interesting, as he was not only a cousin to AIADMK joint-coordinator and CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, but also seen as his representative, having served as the panchayat chief of Palaniswami’s Nedungulam village in the Salem district.
Arasakumar was associated with the DMK two decades earlier before floating his own OBC outfit which he merged with the BJP after the 2014 general elections.
Arasakumar claimed he quit the BJP due to harassment for speaking “the truth”.
“I had only told the truth that Stalin possesses all qualities to become the CM of TN. I did not speak anything wrong,” he said before alleging discrimination in the BJP.
“Except for a few, no one can emerge as a leader in the TN BJP. I don’t want to continue in the party after losing my self-respect,” he added.
Arasakumar had given a clear indication of switching sides when he profusely praised Stalin in his presence at a family function of a DMK MLA in Chennai on December 1.
“Stalin’s work as a local administration minister was laudable in DMK’s 2006-2011 regime. He is not only commander (Thalapathi) for DMK, he is also a leader for me,” Arasakumar had said.
He had also said that Stalin would lead Tamil Nadu soon.
“After AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran, Stalin is the only capable leader in the state for me. Time will come soon, and Stalin will lead the state,” Arasakumar had added.
BJP state unit had barred Arasakumar from party-related events after the episode and recommended disciplinary action against him. The party said Arasakumar’s exit would have no impact on its prospect in the state.
“Party workers are our strength. When someone is taking a stance against the party’s views, we cannot support him. There is no loss to the BJP with his desertion,” said BJP state spokesperson K Kanimozhi.
A senior AIADMK leader said Viswanathan’s move to join the DMK showed that AIADMK was against “nepotism” and “dynastic politics” unlike the DMK.