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VCK, BJP deviate from campaign line, leave Dravidian giants red-faced
Senior party functionaries in the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK are upset with their allies, the BJP and the VCK respectively, for not adhering to the campaign agenda followed by Dravidian majors.
The latest comments on Salem-Chennai expressway project by Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Pon Radhakrishnan stating that it would be executed have put the AIADMK functionaries in an embarrassing situation.
Rubbing salt on the wound, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in a tweet extended his support to the rebel AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran. “After reviewing the TN situation with the VHS, I feel nationalists in TN should vote for Dhinakaran. As for corruption, all TN parties are the same. But Dhinakaran is good for the national unity,” he tweeted triggering tension among functionaries of the AIADMK and the BJP.
Senior AIADMK leaders, however, said that the court has already ruled against the land acquisition process after hearing multiple petitions and that there was no need for such a controversy. “AIADMK party convenor and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had been cautiously not discussing the project in detail, but the BJP leader Gadkari said that the Centre will begin the project after discussions with farmers,” rued an AIADMK district secretary, requesting anonymity.
He added that the AIADMK leaders should have briefed the BJP leaders not to touch the issue as fresh protests have now erupted in pockets of Salem and Tiruvannamalai. “Gadkari spoke about the project in Salem on Sunday in the presence of the CM. To make matters worse, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan expressed similar views on Monday,” the AIADMK senior leader said.
Radhakrishnan told reporters in Kanniyakumari that there are vested interests promoting anti-public sentiment in the project.
“People are looking for development and the eight-lane project will be executed,” he said.
In the Opposition camp, Dravidar Kazhagam leader Veeramani’s and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan’s campaign against Hindu gods went viral on social media triggering unease among the DMK functionaries.
“We have been forced to clarify that our party is not against Hindus,” a DMK leader told DT Next. The DMK has conveyed the VCK leader not to hurt the sentiments of any group and been advised to focus only in the constituencies where the VCK is contesting in alliance with the DMK.