Nation rolls out red carpet for its Dravidian son TN CM Stalin

Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir & UP, who came down to Chennai to celebrate Stalin ‘s 70th birthday,  urge the TN CM to come to national arena
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. (Photo | PTI)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. (Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI:  Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh - Farooq Abdullah and Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday conveyed their wish that Stalin should move to the national scene. While Abdullah said Stalin could be a prime ministerial candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Akhilesh Yadav expressed confidence that the DMK president would rise to great political heights and national prominence. 

At the Chennai airport, when reporters asked whether Stalin could be the prime ministerial candidate, the Jammu Kashmir National Conference president asked: “Why not? Why can’t he become the Prime Minister?” When questioned about the prospective prime ministerial candidates, Abdullah said a decision could be made on the best man to lead and unite the nation at the appropriate time after the united opposition wins in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 

Express Illustration
Express Illustration

Responding to a query, Abdullah said Stalin and DMK have done very well. When the nation’s diversity is protected, then unity is guarded, he said. DMK has done well in nurturing opposition and national unity, he added. Later, addressing a public meeting organised by DMK to celebrate Stalin’s birthday, he said, “Stalin, it is time to move on. Come to the national scene. Come to the nation and build the nation as you have built this state. The nation needs people who can work together and to Kharge ji also I will say let us forget who is going to become the prime minister. Let us first win the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, then think about who is going to become the prime minister.”

The JKNC leader said, “It is not the prime minister that matters but it is the nation that matters and if the country is saved, then its 140 crore people are protected, “ the senior political leader said. All the opposition leaders need to work together and that is the need of the hour.”

Samajwadi party leader and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, hailed Stalin as having done exemplary work for Tamil Nadu’s development as its chief minister. He also praised the DMK chief’s efforts in forging a platform for social justice and said, “I along with other leaders would love to lead future generations towards justice. I wish him great health and immense drive to advance his unique pursuit of social justice and equality-oriented good governance.” 

Congress president Mallikarjuna Kharge said it was imperative to unitedly fight against “divisive forces” and indicated that the question of a PM candidate of such a bloc was “not the question”. “All like-minded opposition parties must come together in this fight against divisive forces. I never said who will lead, or who will become the Prime Minister. We (Congress) are not telling who will lead or not going to lead. It is not the question. We want to fight together unitedly, that is our desire. That is why we have sacrificed many times in the name of secularism, in the name of liberty, in the name of freedom of expression,” he said, adding the DMK - Congress alliance would continue for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections too.

Unique style
Stalin’s style of functioning has been unique. Non-NDA governments in many states are facing the heat of the central agencies. But DMK has managed to shield itself from such harsh actions, while still projecting itself as an anti-BJP force. One of the few areas where the Stalin-led government is facing a challenge is the pendency of bills at the Raj Bhavan. While being cordial to the union government on the governance side, Stalin has set a precedent on how a regional party can put up a fight in protecting the OBC quota.

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