AIADMK’s allies can make their own choices, says Jayakumar
A day after the AIADMK boycotted the centenary celebrations of the State Legislature, the DMK said it was up to the principal Opposition party to decide to do so.
Addressing the media at the Secretariat on Tuesday, Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan said that, on the advice of the Chief Minister, he personally called the Leader of the Opposition (Edappadi K. Palaniswami) and invited him to the event.
The Chief Minister had also asked Mr. Duraimurugan to tell the Leader of the Opposition that he would be seated along with the President, the Governor and the Chief Minister during the event.
“I conveyed these details to him when I invited him. He said he would consult his party members and tell me. But he informed not me but the Assembly Secretary that they would not take part in the function,” Mr. Duraimurugan, who is also the Leader of the House, said.
The Minister noted that it was being said that the AIADMK chose not to take part in the function (during which the portrait of former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was unveiled) because the DMK earlier chose not to take part in the unveiling of a portrait of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
“But they invited us just like they invited everyone else. We did not take part because we were not being treated with respect. But we will give them due respect,” he said.
When asked about BJP State president K. Annamalai attending the event, the Minister said he welcomed his participation and appreciated his gesture.
Senior AIADMK leader D. Jayakumar, when asked about the party’s allies taking part in the function, said, “Constituent parties in an alliance would differ on their principles. It was up to them whether to take part in the function.”
‘Distorting of history’
When asked why the AIADMK boycotted the event, Mr. Jayakumar (also a former Speaker), reiterated his contention that the first Assembly was set up in Tamil Nadu only in 1952.
“Only with that calculation, we celebrated 60 years of the Assembly [in 2012]. So what was it in 1921? It was only the State Legislative Council and not the Assembly. They have distorted history. Our argument is 1952 should be taken as the reference point,” he said.
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