Elections are to be held in Tamil Nadu in April for the 234 seats of the legislative assembly. DMK president MK Stalin has been going around the state and meeting people as part of a campaign called ‘Stalin in your constituency’. He took out time to speak to News18 Tamil, focusing on recent political developments, the game plan of his party, and the challenges ahead.
Q: How is the response to your present campaign and are people happy with it?
A: I have received a very good response. People are providing details about the problems they face and are also accusing the government of not taking any steps to solve their problems. The government is also getting information about my campaign from the media as well as through intelligence.
Q: Are you watching the opposition campaign and the claims that Tamil Nadu is winning?
A: It is not a TN winning campaign but a TN waning campaign. Very soon people will give their reply to the government’s claim.
Q: CM Edappadi K Palaniswami has been making accusations as well as criticising you and your party DMK. Are you aware of such criticisms and accusations?
A: The chief minister is speaking angrily and it is good for a chief minister to speak like this. He has been raising various accusations against us and we are aware of all these.
Q: CM Palaniswami has been stating that law and order will go for a toss if DMK comes to power. What is your reaction to this accusation?
A: The chief minister or his party cannot claim that law and order is better during their regime as the Pollachi issue (sensational sexual harassment cases against youth in Pollachi) happened only during this regime. Yes, during the past DMK regime, there had been some law and order issues here and there but it was not as bad as claimed by the chief minister.
Q: Is DMK trying to fish in troubled waters of AIADMK with the return of Sasikala?
A: There is no need for DMK to fish in troubled waters and we will not do that for coming to power.
Q: Will the alliance talks be smooth as it used to be when your father (M Karunanidhi) was alive?
A: The generation when Kalaignar was dealing with the alliance and the present generation are different. Based on the situation, the alliance will be decided.
Q: Is the DMK trying to woo PMK and DMDK to its side and is there pressure on DMK due to this?
A: There is no pressure or we are not in two minds on getting the two parties on our side. As of now the present alliance is going on smoothly. Neither have we invited both the parties nor is there any need for us to woo them.
Q: In recent times, the AIADMK government has been announcing several schemes which you were asking for, including waiver of farmers’ loans. Will this turn the people towards the government?
A: People are clear and they cannot be cheated once again as they have been in the last 10 years. While the government waives the farm loans, the chief minister supports the farm laws when farmers are opposing them.
Q: Are you hopeful of winning the 2021 assembly elections?
A: Definitely, our alliance is not only confident of winning but also of winning more seats than expected.