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AIADMK, DMK spar over TN Assembly centenary celebrations

The DMK leaders said that they had invited the AIADMK legislators but the latter intentionally boycotted the function which was inaugurated by the President of the country.

IANS | Chennai |

War of words erupted between the opposition AIADMK and the ruling DMK after the former boycotted the centenary celebrations of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

The centenary celebrations were inaugurated on Monday by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Former Minister and leader of AIADMK, D. Jayakumar told IANS, “How can AIADMK participate in a function in which the portrait of M. Karunanidhi, the former Chief Minister of TN and DMK leader was unveiled. DMK had boycotted the portrait unveiling function of former Chief Minister and AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa in February 2018 and had even approached the Madras high court against the move.”

The senior leader adds, “How can we attend the programme in such circumstances? More than that there is no rationale behind the celebrations, as the constitution of the first Assembly in 1952 should only be taken into consideration. It was only then the country had become a Republic and in 1921 when the legislature of Madras Legislative Assembly has established the country was still under the British rule.”

However, former Assembly Speaker and DMK leader, R. Avudaiappan refuted the theory of Jayakumar and said, “The days’ events marked the completion of 100 years of a system wherein the directly elected representatives were the dominant constituents of the House. The Justice Party which launched the Dravidian movement in the state obtained a majority in the legislative council and bagged 63 seats out of the 98 members directly elected by the people.”

The former Speaker also countered the claims of AIADMK and said, “After capturing power, The Justice party took several measures in the area of social justice, including providing reservation in employment to backward sections of the society.”

The DMK leaders said that they had invited the AIADMK legislators but the latter intentionally boycotted the function which was inaugurated by the President of the country.

A senior leader of the DMK and state Water Resources Minister, S. Duraimurugan told IANS, “I have personally invited Edappadi K. Palaniswami on the instruction of our Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to participate in the function and to offer a few words of felicitation on our leader and former Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, but he informed the Assembly secretariat of his non-participation.”

The senior leader also said that the Chief Minister had instructed to keep a chair for K. Palaniswami at the dais along with the President and the Governor.

When asked about the DMK boycotting the function of unveiling the portrait of AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa in February 2018, Duraimuruguan said, “They did not extend any personal invitation to us, instead just sent an invitation letter. The then AIADMK government did not give due respect to our leader and hence we did not participate. Here I have personally invited the opposition leader and he did not inform me of his non-participation, but instead informed the secretariat.”

The war of words between the AIADMK and DMK is a clear indication of the end of the bonhomie between the ruling front and the opposition which was on display immediately after the new government assumed office.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin even included former Health Minister Vijyabhaskar in the 13-member committee to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.

Political observers had then predicted that a new history is being scripted in Tamil Nadu politics but the recent Vigilance raids on the premises of former transport minister and AIADMK leader M.R. Vijayabaskar had led to a fissure in the relationship.

With AIADMK boycotting the portrait unveiling function of M. Karunanidhi, the rift between the two seems to be wide open.