Home » News

Neither shocked nor surprised, says Stalin

[TOI, Saturday, 16 May 2009 23:25 No Comment]

Fresh from the DMK’s victory, the party’s treasurer and state rural development minister MK Stalin, who shouldered the main responsibility of campaigning across the state, said on Saturday that he was hardly surprised by the verdict. The win was entirely attributable to the DMK regime’s track record. He spoke to M Gunasekaran even as the results were flowing in:

Q: What, according to you, are the reasons for your party’s impressive performance in this election?

A: The victory is 99% due to the DMK government’s achievements. We have fulfilled almost all our poll promises.

Q: Are there any other reasons for your win?

A: Our rival alliance was unable to find fault with our government’s accomplishments. People did not fall for the false campaign saying the central and state governments did not do anything worthwhile during the past five years. Disregarding even the health condition of Kalaignar, they launched a personal attack against him and spread canards. The shift in alliance by PMK founder S Ramadoss and his incessant interference with the government’s welfare projects have resulted in his party losing all the seven constituencies it contested. Ramadoss kept saying that the DMK would be finished in this election, but instead people have finished off his party.

Q: You played a key role in the alliance finalisation and seat-sharing. You also shouldered the responsibility of campaigning. Will you now take credit for the successful show?

A: I was only an ambassador of Kalaignar Karunanidhi. Thalaivar’s (leader) achievements spoke for themselves and his abundant welfare schemes are etched in the people’s minds. I could sense the people’s sentiments well during my campaign. The electorate responded enthusiastically to our appeal.

Q: Do you consider it a reward for your efforts?

A: It is not a personal victory for me. The win is nothing but the voters’ acknowledgement for our leader’s welfare projects. Myself, our party general secretary K Anbazhagan and Kanimozhi, besides actors Bhagyaraj, Tyagu and Chandrasekar, merely reminded the voters of our Thalaivar’s achievements during these three years. This poll win is not my individual achievement. Everyone has a role in it.

Q: There was a direct contest between DMK and your erstwhile ally PMK in five constituencies. How did you manage to defeat your bitter critic, given the general perception that those segments were PMK’s pocket-borough, in addition to the fact that PMK was part of a strong alliance?

A: Voters did not forget the torment and agony inflicted by the PMK upon the DMK government. The overbearing and arrogant attitude of Dr Ramadoss too contributed to our win.

Q: Did you expect such a huge win this time?

A: I am neither shocked nor surprised by the results. I expected a positive response from the electorate. We have been in power for the past three years, and yet there was no trace of any feeling of anti-incumbency among people. I was well received by the voters, who responded with a lot of zeal to my queries. At times, they even reminded me of our government’s achievements. During our entire campaign, we addressed people who gathered in large numbers on their own. While others had to mobilise crowds, we went to the voters’ place and put forth our views.

Q: What about the Sri Lanka issue. Jayalalithaa even spoke about the creation of a separate Tamil Eelam?

A: I am not denying the fact that Sri Lanka is an important issue. Since 1956, the DMK government has taken several steps, including representations and resolutions. We even sacrificed our government for the cause. Jayalalithaa is talking in favour of Sri Lankan Tamils now only for elections. Even in January this year she said it was a war between Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE and not genocide. She even justified the atrocities against Tamils by saying it was normal for civilians to die in any war. She also accused the LTTE of using Tamils as human shields. Despite being chief minister for two full terms, Jayalalithaa had never spoken about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. At one point of time, she even demanded the arrest and extradition of LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran. Today, she stands exposed, as her poll-time demands have not cut ice with people. They cannot be cheated.

Q: Since 1999 you are part of the Union cabinet. Will you continue to be so now?

A: Kalaignar will be going to New Delhi and participating in talks on government formation. With the help of the Centre, we will bring useful projects and schemes to Tamil Nadu to fulfil the expectations of the people.

Q: The success rate of Congress, which contested in 16 seats in Tamil Nadu, is less compared to that of the DMK, with many senior leaders struggling. What is the reason?

A: We have to analyse the reasons. Congress has recorded revival and growth in many northern states. Their performance in Tamil Nadu this time is better than their national trend.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.