DMK’s candidate for Chennai-Central constituency and former Union telecom minister, Dayanidhi Maran, has alleged that AIADMK and BJP are still in an “unholy alliance” and in many constituencies, the AIADMK’s foot soldiers are working for the BJP.

In an interaction with the journalists of The Hindu group of publications, Maran said, “perhaps CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have a strong arm over (AIADMK leader) Edappadi Palaniswami.”

He said that in his own constituency, he was finding no AIADMK worker was working for their alliance partner (DMDK).

Maran said that the upcoming elections are important in order to save the country from Modi and BJP. He said that only DMK, with 39 MPs in the Lok Sabha, was fighting for the States’ rights. He alleged that when the AIADMK government ruled the State (2016-2021) in alliance with BJP, it had completely surrendered the State’s rights. But after DMK took over the reins of the State, BJP was “not able to digest the fact that it had lost a slave State.”

Maran reiterated DMK’s oft-repeated position that the Government of India had not given Tamil Nadu “a single paisa” for relief when the State was hit by unprecedented floods. “To add insult to injury”, the Finance Minister claimed that the Central government had given the State ₹5,000 crore, when in fact the said amount was only an ADB (Asian Development Bank) loan, channelled through the Government of India.

Maran said that only two corporate conglomerates, Reliance and the Adani, were importing Russian oil at 50 per cent the global crude prices and making windfall profits. When INDI Alliance comes to power — at DMK’s instance — it would reduce the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas, he said.

Calling BJP corrupt, the former Union Minister said that the Comptroller and Auditor General had called out BJP’s corruption by pointing out in its report that there had been irregularities amounting to ₹7.5-lakh crore.

The senior DMK leader accused BJP of “stonewalling” development in Tamil Nadu, citing the example of the metro rail project. The second phase of the metro works in Chennai cost around ₹68,000 crore, which is to be equally shared by the State and the Centre — while the State contributed its share, the Centre did not, he said.

Asked if the BJP was growing in Tamil Nadu, he laughed and said, “BJP in Tamil Nadu is only (a party of) keyboard warriors,” and added that BJP’s State president, Annamalai, was a “joker”. “A leader should have consistency,” he said, noting that Annamalai did not have it.

The Tamils are very sentimental, emotional people, Maran said, noting that there was an “anti-Edappadi (AIADMK leader), anti-Modi” wave in the State.