“Our alliance will win maximum seats and AIADMK will retain power,” says Tamil Nadu CM.

The ruling AIADMK leadership on November 21 declared in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Chennai that the party’s alliance with the BJP will continue for the 2021 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Shah responded by lauding the “good governance” provided by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, particularly in combating COVID-19. Assailing the DMK-Congress alliance, he promised that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre would stand by the AIADMK government “like a rock” for the development of Tamil Nadu.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah pays floral tributes to Tamil Nadu former Chief Ministers M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa during a government event in Chennai on November 21, 2020. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami looks on. Photo: Twitter/@AmitShah 

The announcement about the continuation of the alliance, forged ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, was made first by Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam. Subsequently Mr. Palaniswami, who is also the party’s co-coordinator, endorsed it.

The two leaders later met Mr. Shah at a private hotel for about 40 minutes.

At the function, the Union Home Minister said Tamil Nadu had topped in the Good Governance Index besides winning awards in other sectors/categories. The Modi government would stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the “Palaniswami government” and the people to implement welfare schemes be it for industrial development, farmers’ welfare or any other development.

Mr. Shah challenged the DMK-Congress to list out the developmental schemes initiated for Tamil Nadu during the 10 years of erstwhile UPA regime and compare them with the numerous schemes rolled out by the NDA government in the last six years. “We are prepared to respond in a public debate anywhere in Chennai,” he said. Reeling out multiple figures and schemes, which benefited Tamil Nadu under the Modi regime, he said the budgetary allocation for the State was much higher than what was sanctioned during the Manmohan Singh government. He added that the Centre was implementing schemes that were “entitlements” to the State.

Contending that since Mr. Modi entered the national political scene, corruption, caste and dynastic politics were unshackled, the Home Minister said the DMK and the Congress had no locus standi to speak about corruption after the 2G scam and other cases. He hoped that the people in Tamil Nadu would oust dynasty politics.

Earlier Mr. Panneerselvam hailed Mr. Shah as a “modern day Chanakya”.

“This function stands as a fine example of how a constructive relationship, between the Centre and the State governments, pays rich dividends to the people. Large projects have been implemented rapidly, through the effective coordination that has resulted from the good relationship,” he said. Unable to stomach the achievements of the AIADMK government, the Opposition parties were attempting to find fault with the government and are even frustrated, he charged. Mr. Paneerselvam added that his party would win for the record third consecutive time in the 2021 election.

Senior BJP leaders including its State president L. Murugan and representatives from the alliance partners — PMK, DMDK, New Justice Party, were seated among the audience.

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