Secular parties must join hands to save India: Stalin

Referring to Rahul’s stand on federalism, Stalin said, ‘Dravidian leaders like CN Annadurai and M Karunanidhi wanted this transformation of thought among national leaders.

Published: 01st March 2022 05:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2022 05:56 AM   |  A+A-

Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan receives the first copy of Stalin’s autobiography, released by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Monday | Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Setting the tone for the Lok Sabha polls of 2024, DMK president and Chief Minister MK Stalin, in his speech after his autobiography ‘Ungalil Oruvan’ (one among you) was released by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Chennai on Monday, gave a call to all secular parties to come together to defeat divisive forces that pose a threat to the nation.

Stalin lauded Rahul Gandhi for his speech in Parliament on the federal nature of India and that the BJP can never rule over the people of Tamil Nadu, and said the Congress leader “understood Dravidian principles.” 

Referring to Rahul’s stand on federalism, Stalin said, ‘Dravidian leaders like CN Annadurai and M Karunanidhi wanted this transformation of thought among national leaders. The transformation which did not happen during their times is taking place now.” 

He added, all parties have realised that rights of States are being snatched by the Centre. “Now maanilathil suyatchi; mathiyil kootatchi (self-rule in State, federalism at the Centre) has become a national slogan and Rahul has echoed it in Parliament.” 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
at the launch of Chief Minister MK Stalin’s autobiography in Chennai on Monday  

‘PM talks about respect but takes away TN’s voice’

Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre over abrogation of Article 370 that revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, Rahul Gandhi said the move, that has never happened before in the country, let “bureaucrats from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat” rule the Union Territory. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said when the PM comes here (Tamil Nadu), he tries to impose some other ideas on the people of Tamil Nadu. He does not understand that Tamil Nadu is not just two words and that Tamil Nadu is 3,000 years old, its land, people and language.

When he does not understand these, he insults the State and in turn, he insults our country, Gandhi said. “You take away the voice of the people of Tamil Nadu and then tell them that you respect the people of Tamil Nadu? When the people of Tamil Nadu repeatedly want to talk about NEE T, you did not answer them. What type of respect is that? When the voice of Tamil Nadu says GST is unfair and that GST harms productive States, you do not respond. Who are you disrespecting?” asked the Congress leader. Pointing to Stalin’s political journey that started at the age of 13 from the grassroots level, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah said, “You know your friends in times of adversity.

The people of J&K, I and my father went through a period of hardship we could not even imagine,” Omar said, referring to the abrogation of the Article 370 in J&K. Though J&K and Tamil Nadu are far away geographically, Stalin and the people of TN stood with J&K. “I came here to express J&K’s gratitude to the people of Tamil Nadu and MK Stalin.” Tomorrow, the governor can take away the powers of the Assemblies of Kerala and TN and can convert the States into UTs by splitting them, Abdullah said, and asked like-minded parties to unite. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said, “We are witnessing gruesome attacks on Constitutional values of freedom, equality and social justice.

We must understand that while recording these attacks, history shall name the perpetrators but it shall also not spare us if we do not resist collectively. Let us go back from here with this solemn resolve and pledge... I’m learning every day from Tamil Nadu on how to exercise one’s Constitutional rights and how to expand the horizon of what it means to be a modern citizen and modern State.”

Speaking about social justice, Tejashwi said that his father Lalu Prasad Yadav was inspired by the social justice movement of TN. “Tamil Nadu has the highest level of reservation and occupies the top position in all human development indicators.” Stalin said the Constitution should be amended to confer more powers on States and the Congress, Left parties and other regional parties should support this demand. Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan received the first copy of Stalin’s autobiography released by Rahul Gandhi.  

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