Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, whose party has forged a poll pact with the BJP, on Sunday sought to differentiate between party principles and alliance, saying the latter was of primary concern for political organisations. The AIADMK Co-coordinator said his party too had its own principle and that “we will act according to it" and asked the minorities to have no apprehensions.
Addressing a Christmas event organised by his party here, the chief minister also announced a near double hike in the government assistance provided to Christians on Jerusalem pilgrimage, from Rs 20,000 to Rs 37,000. “Every party has a principle and it works only in accordance with that. The AIADMK has its own policy and we will only work as pert that," he said at the event.
“Alliance is different, policy is different. The principle is permanent and the AIADMK is acting in line with it," he said. He said the members of the minority communities need not be apprehensive as the “AIADMK will protect you like a family member." The AIADMK has announced that its alliance with the BJP, clinched during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, will continue for the 2021 Assembly elections where the ruling party is eyeing a hatrick of electoral victories, after storming to power in 2011 and retaining it in 2016.
Assembly elections in the state are due next year and likely to be held in April-May 2021. Questions have been raised in the political circles in Tamil Nadu over the alliance partners, since the AIADMK is steeped in Dravidian ideals while the BJP is said to have a saffron colour to its politics.
Further, Palaniswami announced increasing the assistance provided to Christians going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, from Rs 20,000 to Rs 37,000 per individual. The initiative was introduced by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in 2011-12, he recalled, adding presently 600 persons are being accommodated every year.
So far, 4,128 people had benefited. Deputy CM and AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam lauded Christians for their yeomen service in the fields of education and medicine and hailed them for “promoting humanity."