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Prez poll: What’s wrong in backing BJP, asks minister

It is now amply clear as to which way the ruling AIADMK would gravitate in the ensuing Presidential polls.

Prez poll: What’s wrong in backing BJP, asks minister
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Dairy Minister Rajenthira Balaji

Chennai

Dairy minister Rajenthira Balaji on Thursday almost played the devil’s advocate for the BJP by even defending the questionable secular credentials of the saffron party. He also subtly indicated that the ruling AIADMK was favourably disposed to backing a candidate fielded by the BJP in the Presidential poll.  

Responding to a query during an interaction with the media, the minister, who has been in the headlines for making sensational claims about adulteration in milk supplied by private companies, wondered why should they not support a candidate fielded by the BJP. 

Parrying another pointed query on their response to the new rule on sale of cattle for slaughter, an evasive Balaji said their decision would be based on the view of the majority (of people). As if that were not enough, the dairy minister even asked the media not to portray the BJP as communal. 

Citing BJP’s successful nomination of late APJ Abdul Kalam to Rashtrapati Bhavan as a proof of their belief in secularism, a confident Balaji said the BJP was also a secular party. 

The minister’s unequivocal support and defence of the BJP was another proof of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy’s government over protecting the Centre, so much so that not a single minister in the AIADMK cabinet had so far cared to even pronounce the party’s stand on the cattle sale regulation issue and that too after governments of all other southern states had publicly decried the notification. 

Not so long ago, CM Palanisamy had created an uproar in the state polity by asking his colleagues in a cabinet meeting not to criticise the BJP in public. Notably, AIADMK’s party organ Namathu MGR had recently lashed out at the BJP, mainly because of the raw deal being meted out to Tamil Nadu on various issues like NEET and GST by the Narendra Modi regime on completion of its third year in office.

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