The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat has said that merger of the EPS and OPS factions of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) took place because of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it wants to advance its communal agenda in Tamil Nadu.
Addressing the gathering at the inauguration function of the Kovai People’s Forum here, the CPI (M) leader slammed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP for propagating its Hindutva agenda and disrupting the unity in the country.
“We are witnessing in our country a systematic effort to disrupt the unity by the communal forces represented by RSS and BJP. The government at the Centre is run and control by the RSS. The communal agenda of the Hindutva forces is being implemented today all over the country. We are seeing how the slogan of RSS ‘one nation, one language, one culture is being imposed on the country,” he added.
He further said that the BJP has hijacked AIADMK which would pose a ‘serious threat to the people of Tamil Nadu.’
“Another merger has been formed in Chennai between the AIADMK and BJP. This merger is not with OPS-EPS but with BJP and AIADMK. This poses a serious threat to the people of Tamil Nadu, to its unity, to its simplistic, cognized culture. We know RSS and BJP are going to use AIADMK to try to advance its communal agenda in Tamil Nadu. They have hijacked AIADMK and hope to utilize it further,” he said.
He further said the Kovai People’s Forum is an initiative to unite all the people to fight against the communal forces and to eliminate the BJP’s footprint from Tamil Nadu.
Besides Karat, other political leaders including Kanimozhi of DMK and Viduthalai Chiraithagal president, Tirumavalavan also participated in the function.
Earlier on Monday, the two warring factions of the AIADMK – one led by Chief Minister E. Palanisamy (EPS) and the other by OPS -led by former chief minister O. Panneerselvam announced a merger, citing that “MGR (M.G. Ramachandran) always wanted to see us united, not split.”
The striking part of the merger is that EPS has taken a backseat in the party, declaring OPS as the convenor of the party. EPS will be the co-convenor.
Palanisamy will continue to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, while O. Panneerselvam (OPS) took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister under the merged AIADMK government in the state.
Following the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured all support from the Centre to the Tamil Nadu government.
The BJP also welcomed the merger and expressed hope that both the factions will work as one entity.