We support BJP as nation needs good PM: AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran

Those who entered the bungalow believed Amma had in her custody records on corrupt ministers. People know very well who all are involved in this heist and murder incident.
TTV Dhinakaran
TTV Dhinakaran File Photo

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazagam’s general secretary and Theni Lok Sabha constituency candidate TTV Dhinakaran speaks to Jeyalakshmi Ramanujam about his winning prospects and the party’s alliance with the BJP.

You won from Periyakulam in the 1999 Lok Sabha polls but lost from the same constituency in the subsequent election. What is the response of people as you return to the region as a candidate after two decades?

Though I rendered excellent service in 1999-2004 as an MP, AIADMK lost the winning chance here due to political situations. I lost for 21,155 votes which was fine when compared to the vote share of other candidates. Hence, Amma (J Jayalalithaa) made me a Rajya Sabha MP. If you visit any village in Theni constituency, you will be able to know what I have done for the people’s welfare. Government Medical College Hospital in Andipatti and Sedapatti and combined drinking project are some among the many. Though I came here after 14 years, people in this constituency gave me a warm welcome.

Your major opponents Thanga Tamilselvan (DMK) and VT Narayanasamy (AIADMK) were also with the AIADMK before. Thus, do you think there will be a split in votes?

The original AIADMK party is no more after the demise of J Jayalalithaa. Now it is Edappadi K Palaniswami’s party and he fielded the candidates in two leaves symbol to prevent the votes going to NDA alliance. DMK is following ‘anti-people policy’ and the candidate’s Theni dream won’t be fulfilled.

Whom do you think the community vote bank of Theni would favour, as DMK’s Thanga Tamilselvan and you belong to the same community?

Theni is a cosmopolitan constituency. Candidates from all communities, including Muslims, had been elected from this constituency since 1952. People will always elect the right person, no matter how strong the community-based campaigns are.

Do you think the BJP alliance will be able to garner votes even after AIADMK leaving the alliance?

When I started AMMK, I didn’t have an alliance with the BJP. But as the AMMK wishes to elect a good prime minister for the nation, we got into the NDA alliance. If elected, I need the support of the PM to implement developmental projects in Theni. In 1999-2004, with the support of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, I brought several welfare projects to the place.

Do you have any suspicions over the Kodanad decoity-cum murder case, which is under control of your family members.

At that time my aunt Sasikala was in prison and I was arrested too. Only a watchman was there. Those who entered the bungalow believed Amma had in her custody records on corrupt ministers. People know very well who all are involved in this heist and murder incident.

You say you are following the principles of Jayalalithaa but she had always been against an alliance with BJP. How can you justify AMMK’s alliance with the saffron party?

If Amma was alive, we would have followed her stand. At present, the nation needs a good PM. Hence, AMMK has taken this stand to support Narendra Modi whose performance is well appreciated by leaders across the globe.

How do you look at the prospects of EPS and his criticisms about you?

People know very well that who selected EPS as CM. He expelled my aunt Sasikala when she was in the prison. He doesn’t have any eligibility to criticise others. People of Tamil Nadu will teach him a lesson by casting votes against his candidates.

Thanga Tamilselvan says the AIADMK got divided because of you. How do you respond to this?

I don’t want to waste my time answering him. He was with me for two-and-a-half years after getting expelled from AIADMK. Why he did that is my question.

Prominent leaders like you, O Panneerselvam, and PMK Ramadoss have joined hands with the NDA alliance. Do you think this will help the alliance to get more seats from TN?

People of Tamil Nadu are angry over the DMK government. Edappadi K Palaniswami is trying to divide votes. But, the NDA alliance will get a good number of seats and Narendra Modi will again be elected as the PM.

Will the AMMK’s alliance with BJP continue in the upcoming assembly election as well?

Yes, it will continue.

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