Chennai: As the tussle over Jayalalithaaâs legacy continues in Tamil Nadu, Swaminathan Gurumurthy, the Chennai-based chartered accountant, Sangh ideologue and political strategist, tells CNN-News18âs Poornima Murali that O Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswami will eventually have to come together for âmutual benefitâ. He says Sasikala and her family should âwithdraw from politicsâ as they are âhated by the peopleâ. Edited excerpts:
Do you think the Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) camp is at a disadvantage for being keen on a merger to retain the âtwo leavesâ symbol?
I donât think so. They saw a dead end with the Mannargudi family leading them, which is why they decided to let go off them and to unite with O Panneerselvam. The issue is who will be the chief minister, and not the symbol.
A few ministers have changed their stance and said Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran will be ousted. What is the reason behind this?
From day one, Sasikala was a liability to the party. Dinakaran soon followed. First, there was the Supreme Court judgment. Then there was the RK Nagar fiasco, and finally the Election Commission bribery case. All these cases made it difficult for EPS to let the Mannargudi family lead the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
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What are the chances of reconciliation between the O Panneerselvam (OPS) camp and the EPS camp?
They will have to reach an understanding for mutual benefit. The chief ministerâs post will be the biggest deal breaker.
If the merger fails and the AIADMK continues to remain divided, should OPS join BJP with his supporters to emerge as the largest player in Tamil Nadu? And will BJP be open to such an idea?
OPS is already a principal player in Tamil Nadu politics. It will be a matter of time before the AIADMK goes to him. Associating with the BJP will be his decision.
If Sasikala were to seek your advice today, what will you tell her?
Ask all her family members to withdraw from politics. People who are hated so much can never survive in politics.
How long does it take for a national party to dominate Tamil Nadu politics?
It may happen in a decade if the party strategises and works selflessly. Otherwise, it may not happen for several decades.
The recent moves with regard to making Hindi compulsory in CBSE schools and also the President agreeing to have dignitaries speaking only in Hindi during public functions.â¦ Donât you think this will evoke sharp reactions from Dravidian parties?
Dravidian parties are anachronistic in their opposition to Hindi, as they are in several aspects of social, economic and cultural life. I am all for learning Hindi. But compelling people to speak in Hindi at public functions is not learning the language. I hope the Centre moves intelligently to promote Hindi, and not as an agenda.
Do you see anger rising in non-Hindi states like Tamil Nadu?
Not all the non-Hindi states oppose Hindi. Non-Hindi states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka even Kerala do not oppose Hindi. TN politics opposes Hindi. That's all. Society, Now, does not.
Stalin Attacks Modi Over 'Imposition of Hindi', Says He's 'Decimating India Unity'... how do you react to the DMK's statement? Is this yet another electoral pitch?
Stalin's attack is political. Stalin must oppose the imposition of Hindi. But he should not oppose learning Hindi. DMK is in search of immediate relevance. Hindi imposition provides a context for it.