Participating in the debate on the state budget, Ramasamy said the ruling party was so deeply “entangled” with the Centre that it could not free itself. It was scared to face even the local body polls in the absence of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, he said. “You hold the elections and prove your strength… But, will you be able to contest alone?” the Congress leader asked, setting off heated arguments between the treasury and opposition benches and turning the budget debate into a discussion on electoral alliances. The heated political discussions evoked a strong reaction from DMK deputy leader S Durai Murugan, who dubbed it an “unhealthy discussion” and demanded that it be disallowed.
Continuing in a similar vein, electricity minister P Thangamani said ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, CBI was investigating Kalaignar TV even as DMK was holding alliance talks with the Congress. The residence of DMK chief M K Stalin was raided after the party quit the Congress-led UPA, alleging “intimidating tactics” of the government at the Centre, he said. Stalin, seated in the front row, retorted, “Whose house was raided in the multi-crore Gutka scam and for distribution of Rs 86 crore to voters? Even the chief secretary’s chamber next to the chief minister’s office was searched. Isn’t that shameful? Don’t withhold facts,” he said.
Replying to Ramasamy, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said, “We are ready for polls, whenever elections are held.” Deputy CM O Panneerselvam said, “Let other political parties contest on their own, then we are also ready to do so. Let us see.” He said it was the Congress, which has been riding piggyback on Dravidian parties since 1967. The state has been subjected to reduced devolution of funds even during the Congress regimes in the past and the injustice continues, he said.
On the chief secretary’s request to the election commission for postponing the by-election to the Tiruvarur assembly constituency after former CM M Karunanidhi’s death, the CM said it was because of the ongoing cyclone Gaja relief work in the region and all parties agreed to it. Stalin said DMK was not opposed to holding by-election to Tiruvarur and wondered why it was being singled out when elections to other 18 seats were pending. The chief minister said litigations were hampering holding of polls and a decision would have to be taken by the election commission. Law minister C Ve Shanmugam said the commission did not take a call on the vacant Thiruparankundram constituency because of DMK’s petition.