L-R: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president MK Stalin & AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami
L-R: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president MK Stalin & AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K PalaniswamiFile Photos | Express

TN CM Stalin invites Edappadi for joint struggle to get central funding for projects like metro rail

Stalin said, "Despite several reminders, the Government of India has not extended funds for the second phase so far. The state government has been providing funds for the work.”

CHENNAI: In what could be perceived as a strategic invitation ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister and DMK president MK Stalin on Thursday requested AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami to join hands with the government in demanding funds for state projects like metro rail from the BJP-led union government. Stalin made this request to Palaniswami while replying to the motion of thanks to the governor’s address in the Assembly.

Referring to the question raised by Palaniswami about the metro rail project work, Stalin said, “I am happy that those who have opposed the metro rail project strongly and supported mono rail project have not turned to support the former. Despite several reminders, the Government of India has not extended funds for the second phase so far. As such, the state government has been providing funds for the work.”

Having said that, the chief minister added, “It is consoling to note that the Leader of the Opposition, who was silent (on this issue) when he was in alliance with the BJP, has now started speaking about this. Even now, it is not too late. I request him to join hands with us in raising his voice demanding funds from the union government.”

However, Palaniswami did not respond to this. Later, when reporters asked about the CM’s remarks outside the House, Palaniswami told reporters: “Now the CM has accepted that we are opposing the BJP. He has admitted that fact.

”Stalin’s request has triggered a debate since the DMK has been describing the AIADMK snapping ties with the BJP as a drama. Political analyst Tharasu Shyam said, “This shows one thing — the ruling DMK, for the first time, recognised that the AIADMK has indeed snapped ties with the BJP. Only because of this, Stalin has requested Palaniswami to join hands with him and demand funds for the state schemes.”

Shyam pointed out that already, on the recommendation of Stalin, the speaker has recognised RB Udhayakumar as the deputy leader of the opposition and allotted a seat for O Panneerselvam in the second row.

Senior journalist T Sigamani is of the view that by making this request to the AIADMK leader, the chief minister has made a political move. “The DMK is getting most of the anti-BJP votes in the hustings and now, the AIADMK is trying to tap that in the Lok Sabha elections. At this juncture, Stalin has requested Palaniswami to raise his voice firmly against the BJP. If Palaniswami fails to raise his voice against the union government on statue issues including disbursal of funds in the coming days, he will face criticism,” Sigamani added.

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