CHENNAI: No other leader in Congress in the State has declared he or she has the capacity to become Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, except State Congress chief S Thirunavukkarasar, says Karate Thiyagaran, a former deputy mayor of Chennai corporation and district president of South Chennai, Congress unit, in his freewheeling chat with Express.
When will Congress come to power?
We are working to attain the goal for the last five decades. During the last five decades, our leaders were working to bring back Kamarajar rule in the State. Only once, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi declared that GK Moopanar would be the Chief Minister, if Congress won enough seats during 1989 assembly election. But, our present president of the State Congress Committee S Thirunavukkarasar is the only leader who declared himself that he has the capacity to become Chief Minister. Thirunavukkarasar is promoting himself as a Chief Ministerial candidate. I don’t know whether to call it as guts or over confidence.
Is it right that you are a Congress leader and you are openly praising Rajinikanth ?
I support him as he is my friend for the last 35 years. It is not wrong to highlight my friend’s qualities as a good friend and he didn’t start any party. Hence, it should not be considered as anti-party activities. I am not speaking anything against our party high command. I just support and highlight my friend’s quality.
Do you think Rajinikanth would be an influential leader?
Surely, he even opposed J Jayalalithaa, the then Chief Minister for common cause. Both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi understood the influence he had among the people. Even a single word he says becomes a point of discussion in TV channels. BJP demanded ban on Vijay starrer Mersal just because it had a few sentences critical of Union government. But they are tightlipped on Rajini’s Kaala, despite several of its dialogues targeting the BJP government. Because they also understand Rajini’s influence and seeking his support.
What do you think on Kushboo’s recent comments?
She is frequently saying that the Tamil Nadu unit president would be replaced soon. Who is she to say that? She has no right to say these things in public. I have filed a complaint with the high command against her.
How is Congress’ relationship with DMK?
Former Union minister P Chidambaram is being targeted by BJP government. DMK leaders did not give any statement on it. But Stalin (DMK working president) has condemned the arrest of Velmurugan (president of Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi). Velmurugan has already stated that his objective is to destroy Congress. But, we are maintaining the alliance just to maintain the strength of secular forces. In the forthcoming elections, I think there will be only two alliances, one led by Stalin and the other by Rajinikanth.