Putting to rest speculation of a rift between the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the latter’s Vel Yatra campaign, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Saturday declared that both the parties will continue to be alliance partners for the upcoming Legislative Assembly polls in 2021.
Claiming the party's victory in elections next year, he said that Opposition parties were perturbed by the party's focus on growth and development in the state.
The AIADMK coordinator was speaking at the function where Union Home Minister Amit Shah dedicated a water reservoir for Chennai's needs and also laid the foundation for various infrastructure projects in the state. Showering praises on Shah as "modern-era Chanakya", Panneerselvam reiterated his faith in alliance with the saffron party.
“Our alliance with the BJP will continue for 2021 state elections. Our alliance will win the 2021 polls. Tamil Nadu will always support Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Chief Minister Palaniswami, adding that the state government and the Centre worked in tandem to fast-track infrastructural and developmental projects in the state.
A new water reservoir built at an outlay of Rs 380 crore was inaugurated by Shah at a function chaired by the chief minister in Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai on Saturday. It is the first reservoir built to cater to Chennai's water needs in the last about 70 years.
Shah also laid the foundation stones for Phase II of Chennai Metro Rail with an outlay of Rs 61,843 crore. The three corridors stretching 173 km is expected to start commercial operations in 2026.
While speaking about the Centre’s focus on Tamil Nadu, Shah said that Rs 2.25 lakh crore have been allocated for the state under the Sagar Mala programme, which include development of roads, ports and other infrastructural projects.
Taking a shot at the DMK-Congress alliance, Shah challenged the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to list the slew of benefits brought to the state during the consecutive UPA governments during 2004-14, and said he would counter it with his own list of projects delivered over the last six years.
The announcement by Panneerselvam proves to be electorally significant and with the state set to go to polls in the middle of next year, the battle lines are just getting drawn up.
The DMK and the Congress party are set to continue their alliance. With the AIADMK-BJP alliance for the polls all but sealed up, the state is set to witness a repeat of the alliance scenario of the Parliamentary polls of 2019. However, the positions of smaller regional parties such as the PMK, and VCK are yet to get finalised.