DMK’s smart ploy keeps AIADMK away from Tamil Nadu’s landmark events

As politics prevails over Assembly’s centenary celebrations, it is the ruling DMK that steals the march over its principal adversary

Many observers say a "boycott" by the AIADMK of three events, including the centenary celebrations of the Assembly, is wrong. File Photo

As the ruling DMK celebrates the centenary year of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on August 2 (Monday), the Opposition AIADMK has found itself in a corner: the party is not only boycotting the DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s image-unveiling ceremony but also the centenary and Independence Day celebrations.

RM Babu Murugavel, an AIADMK spokesperson, said the government has not invited their party MLAs formally. “When we unveiled the image of Amma (J Jayalalithaa), we invited them, but they didn’t participate. They boycotted the ceremony in which the then president Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest. Now, it is the same DMK that has played nasty politics. They haven’t invited us,” he said.

The AIADMK believes the state Assembly’s coming into existence should be calculated from 1952, not from 1921 as per the DMK version. Former CM J Jayalalithaa celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the Assembly in 2012.

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When the DMK countered the AIADMK’s argument of taking 1952 as the year of the Assembly’s existence, the latter came up with another argument that Karunanidhi had celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the assembly in 1989, based on the year 1937, when the first meeting of the Assembly took place.

“The Golden Jubilee celebration was delayed by two years because in 1987, then chief minister MGR was in a hospital. So Karunanidhi organized the celebrations taking 1937 as the base year. We celebrated the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 taking 1952 as the base year since that was the year all the citizens of the country got the voting right,” said AIADMK leader D Jayakumar in a statement.

If 2021 is the centenary year celebration of the Assembly, would Karunanidhi’s decision of celebrating the Golden Jubilee in 1989 be wrong? Even if one goes by Karunanidhi’s calculation (of taking 1937 as a base year), there are many years left to celebrate the Assembly’s centenary. “So why this hurry?” Jayakumar asked.

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The DMK supporters came up with an explanation that Karunanidhi celebrated the Golden Jubilee taking 1937 as a base year since that was the year the first provincial elections were held and not for the first meeting of the assembly.

Senior journalist and political analyst Tharasu Shyam said the AIADMK boycotting all the three events is wrong.

“It was the Legislative Council in 1921 which had implemented the Communal GO for the first time. It was also the first time the Justice Party came to power. While the Justice Party was at the root of both the DMK and the AIADMK, the latter’s decision to boycott the two events is wrong. However, we can understand boycotting the event to unveil Karunanidhi’s image as a political one,” he said.

He also said the DMK has played cleverly by organizing the three events in a day, making it difficult for AIADMK to attend all of them.