Making clear the aspirations of the AIADMK and its supremo and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, the party on Thursday said the time was ripe for a Tamil to lead the nation. “In the past, people from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were elected for the Prime Minister’s post.
The time is now ripe for a Tamil to lead the country,” said a resolution passed by the AIADMK’s executive committee and general council. The resolution only endorsed what Jayalalithaa has been emphasising all along – that her party should play a larger national role after the Lok Sabha elections.
“Only Amma (Jayalalithaa) can turn the world’s largest democracy into a most powerful State,” the resolution said, adding, “She is the only star of hope and capable to lead a government for India’s bright future.”
Unanimously adopted by the party general council, the resolution further stated that only Jayalalithaa, a “motherly national leader”, could embrace with compassion and respect the country with its rich diversity and people of all languages, religions and communities.
Jayalalithaa has been steadfast in her stand that her party would contest all 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone Puducherry seat on its own without the company of either the Congress or the BJP. She reiterated that the party would face the LS polls alone. Later, when reporters asked her about the party resolutions projecting her as a prime ministerial candidate, the chief minister clarified that it was the party cadres’ wish. She said there was no mention of ‘Prime minister’ in the resolution. “Moreover, party cadres have expressed their feelings. They have every right to do so and I can’t say anything on that,” was all she would say.
Lambasting the Congress-led government at the Centre for its “ineffectiveness” in handling the rise in price of essential commodities, “threats” posed by neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Jayalalithaa said the government had to be thrown out. “A strong government is needed to put down these countries. The administration at the Centre struggles with none to lead,” she said, urging her cadres to work for a victory in all 40 constituencies “so as to ensure security and progress of our country”.
Thanking the party for reposing faith in her and authorizing her to forge alliances for the LS polls, Jayalaliathaa said she wished to see a government at the Centre that would be friendly towards Tamil Nadu and take care of its welfare. “A government, which extends necessary aid and support in all ways to Tamil Nadu and which does not consider it a slave state; sees it as a friendly partner; and acknowledges its share in the country’s growth, should be formed at the Centre,” she said.
Jayalaithaa declared the party’s theme for the Lok Sabha elections as ‘peace, prosperity and progress’. Enthusing cadres, she referred to the party as an express train. The AIADMK should turn into the “Red Fort Express” and reach Delhi, she said. In the past, the party had turned into “Fort St George Express” and reached Fort St George (the seat of the state government) six times, including thrice under party founder M G Ramachandran. “People of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are there to give us the green signal. I am there to drive the engine,” she said, amid loud cheers from supporters.