In poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the politics over 'Vel' - a spear-like weapon, associated with Vel Murugan, a Hindu god, is continuing. Now, DMK president MK Stalin has slammed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami and has asked if the DMK has ever asked people to not believe in God. The DMK chief said that the divine symbol was presented to him recently in Tiruttani in northern Tamil Nadu by his party district secretary, the people and temple priests. He asked, "Do we say that there should not be a belief in God?" Seeking to blunt the AIADMK's accusation that Vel was noticed by him only due to polls to the Assembly, due in April-May, he said that his party was not against any religious beliefs.
Stalin quoted a popular dialogue of his father and late party patriarch M Karunanidhi from the 1952 Tamil flick 'Parasakthi' which said the stance was not that there should be no temples, but shrines should not become a camp of rogue elements.
"What is Palaniswami's problem? Why is he afraid of Vel?" he asked adding people were going to decimate the AIADMK democratically and politically. He claimed that besides the ruling party's decimation, the elections would end the political careers of Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. He further said, "My criticism against them is not personal. I have no animosity towards them. AIADMK regime is selfish and their political activities are wrong and that is why I am criticising them."
DMK supremo MK Stalin was spotted holding a 'Vel' during gram sabha meeting at Ammaiyarkuppam in poll-bound Tamil Nadu on January 23. Pointing out that DMK always has projected itself as an atheist party, the NDA allies AIADMK and BJP pulled back no punches as MK Stalin was presented with a silver 'Vel' by his party cadre at Tiruttani and claimed that the DMK was pulling off such acts to gain votes.
Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami labelled Stalin's actions as 'drama' and noted that the story, screenplay, and direction for this drama was written by poll-strategist Prashant Kishor. BJP leader Khushbu Sundar noted that it was 'funny' to see the atheism-wielding DMK to suddenly pick up the 'Vel' and express their love for god, remarking that the saffron party had arrived in Tamil Nadu and that PM Modi's impact was indeed cast on the southern state. Tamil Nadu BJP President L Murugan noted that the 'Vel' had been pushed back into the hands of the same Stalin & DMK who opposed the 'Vel Yatra', terming the BJP-launched procession to be a success in the state.
Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are due in April-May 2021 and the political parties have started their campaign. While DMK's MK Stalin is eyeing becoming Chief Minister for the first time, CM E Palaniswami (EPS) is fighting for his re-election. The BJP is yet to make a formal announcement of the alliance with AIADMK and is in talks with Stalin's estranged brother MK Alagiri. On the other side, AIADMK has said that they are the big-brother within the NDA alliance. Meanwhile, Kamal Hassan has put a halt to his campaign trail due to leg surgery. Superstar Rajinikanth who was about to launch his party this year has backed out due to health reasons.