Following opposition from former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s family regarding the use of Kalam’s name for a political party, Ponraj told The News Minute: “Kalam sir is a common leader, anyone can use his name. He has no legal heir. Kalam is like Gandhi or Kamraj or Anna, he is a public figure.”
V Ponraj launched the Abdul Kalam Vision India Party (VIP) on Sunday at Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram.
Kalam’s family had stated that they are unhappy with the use of Kalam’s name since as he never had any political agenda.
“Abdul Kalam never supported any particular party. V Ponraj has not taken any permission from any family member and he has not even approached Kalam's elder brother A P J M Maraikayar,” said Sheikh Salim, Abdul Kalam’s grand-nephew.
He added, “He informed us that he was starting a party, but never told us that he was going to use Kalam’s name. Maraikayar is opposing the use of APJ Abdul Kalam’s name for the party and is going to ask the Election Commission not to allow Ponraj to use the name of Kalam.”
He also said that the family does not want Kalam's name to be used for any political activities.
Ponraj however, is unfazed by the opposition from the family. “Anybody can be upset, I cannot do anything about it. “I have contacted many others including his brother Maraikayar. Two parties were registered and I chose one,” he said.
Asked about the objective of the party, he said, “I have not started a political party on my own. It is a youth organization that came forward and asked me to lead them. The students who were inspired by Kalam approached me for many months. I have not started a party. This is young people who started the party.”
V Ponraj’s party will be contesting in all 234 constituencies in the coming assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. He said that the party would bring in not just a political revolution but also an intellectual revolution to the state.