P. Thangamani, Electricity Minister and the ruling party’s face in Namakkal district, is regarded as a key figure in the AIADMK regime, ever since Edappadi K. Palaniswami became the Chief Minister in February, 2017. He has been made the lead member of the party’s media panel. In an interview, he asserts that there is no anti-incumbency, and the party’s existing alliance will continue in 2021. Excerpts:
What are the main challenges facing your party in the run up to Assembly election? What will be the focal point of your party’s campaign?
The [AIADMK] government, in the last 10 years, particularly in the last 4 years, has done very well. To tell you frankly, I do not see any challenge for my party. The government’s performance on development, easy accessibility of the Chief Minister and Ministers, the Chief Minister’s pro-farmer image, and COVID-19 management will all favour my party.
Our campaign will definitely be based on the development plank.
Besides, in the party too, several committees have been constituted [to oversee election work] and zonal point-persons appointed. We have gone beyond those issues [which arose as part of the debate on the party’s nominee for the post of Chief Minister].
Do you think that anti-incumbency, on account of being in power for 10 years, the absence of Jayalalithaa and the perception of the BJP calling the shots in the State will affect your party’s chances?
The fact that we have been in power for 10 years is going to be our plus point. There is no anti-incumbency because of our good governance.
As far as my party is concerned, there are no two opinions that only when there are cordial relations between the Central and State government, the State will stand to gain heavily. At the same time, we [my party] have never given up our individuality on issues that affect the State. We are following the policy of Amma [Jayalalithaa]. As for the alliance, there is no problem.
What is the message that you draw from the results of Bihar elections?
Opposition parties have been carrying on a false campaign about the way COVID-19 is being handled. But this verdict illustrates that the Central and State governments have done well on this front. Our showing on the COVID-19 management is as good as a developed country.
Do you expect addition of allies or changes in the present coalition?
As I see, there will be no change in the existing alignment of forces. The same coalition will continue.
Will there be a coalition government in the State after the Assembly polls?
No. The policy followed by Thalaviar [M.G. Ramachandran] and Amma will continue
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