BJP’s ally AIADMK says it will oppose Uniform Civil Code

Chennai:¬†BJP’s southern ally AIADMK on Wednesday reiterated its stand against the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code.

AIADMK chief K Palaniswami, when asked by reporters on BJP’s push for Uniform Civil Code and his party’s stand, said the position had already been made known in the party’s manifesto released for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“Read our manifesto, we have mentioned it clearly,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the party’s district secretaries here.

In the manifesto, under the topic ‘Secularism’, the party had said in 2019: “The AIADMK will urge the Government of India to not bring any amendments to the Constitution for a Uniform Civil Code that will adversely affect the religious rights of minorities in India.”

Asked if his party’s alliance with the BJP would continue (for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls), Palaniswami said: “There is no election now. There is one year to go for the polls, there is no urgency. At the time of polls, for sure we will tell you with which parties we are aligning. Already, we have made known (the party’s stand on alliance with BJP) about the BJP.” At the appropriate time, everything would be spoken transparently, he said.

The alliance would be forged following the footsteps of party founder M G Ramachandran and late party matriarch J Jayalalithaa. “Our ties with the BJP has already been made clear,” he reiterated.

In March and then in April this year after a meeting with BJP top leaders J P Nadda and Amit Shah in Delhi, Palaniswami had said his party’s ties with the BJP remained intact.

In the AIADMK meet today, top leaders and the district secretaries deliberated the preparations for the party conference slated to be held in Madurai on August 20.

Palaniswami said in about a month and half, the party has enrolled as many as 1.60 crore members, which is historic and the party has not “broken” and it is “robust”. There was no other party in Tamil Nadu which has so many members. All positions in the party would be filled, he added.

Taking a veiled swipe at expelled leader O Panneerselvam (OPS), Palaniswami, without naming OPS and his supporters dubbed them as DMK’s “B team”. The AIADMK stood for all the people transcending caste and religious lines and worked for the upliftment of the oppressed people and for protecting their rights.

On the Cauvery river issue, he asked why Chief Minister M K Stalin had not spoken to his Karnataka counterpart Siddaramaiah, top leader of DMK ally Congress, to ensure release of water to the state.

Stalin not looking into the matter is tantamount to rendering injustice to Tamil Nadu farmers and the state and betrayal as well. He lashed out at Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar over his comments on Cauvery-Mekedatu dam.

Days after the amputation of a toddler’s hand at a government hospital, the AIADMK leader hit out at the DMK regime for “ruining” the health department in the past two years. The TN government has asserted repeatedly that there was no medical negligence and that the arm was removed only to save the child’s life. Palaniswami blamed the DMK government, which captured power in 2021, as “inept”.

He referred to the release of Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin starrer Tamil flick ‘Mamannan’, the coverage for it in the media and an “image being built” that the DMK had, through the cinema as well, worked for Dalit empowerment.

Palaniswami said the DMK has no locus standi to comment on the issue. “Are they protecting the rights of the oppressed people? AIADMK leader from the oppressed Dalit community P Dhanapal, when he was the Assembly Speaker (2016-21) was ‘manhandled’ in the Assembly by the DMK members and a no-confidence motion was brought against him,” Palaniswami said.

He released a logo and a tagline ‘Veera varalatrin ponvizha ezhuchi manadu,’ for the mega Madurai conference. The catchphrase could be roughly translated as ‘Golden juibilee resurgence conference of a valourous history.’ The AIADMK, founded in 1972, completed 50 years of its political journey in 2022.