Tamil Nadu Minister for Tamil Language and Culture Ma Foi Pandiarajan speaks to TNM on promises in his constituency, on AIADMK’s U-turn on CAA, on allegations of being subservient to the BJP and more.

Profile of Ma Foi Pandiarajan who has AIADMK shawl around his shoulders and speaks to a gathering using a micFacebook/ Ma Foi Pandiarajan
news 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 13:55

The ruling AIADMK’s poll promise to pressure its ally, the BJP, to drop the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has raised eyebrows, with critics questioning the party’s U-turn just ahead of the Assembly elections. AIADMK MPs had voted in support of the Bill in Parliament, with Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami earlier saying that CAA would not affect minorities

Speaking to TNM, Tamil Nadu Minister for Tamil Language and Culture and sitting Avadi MLA Ma Foi Pandiarajan said that it was after seeing the reaction from the minorities that the party changed its stance. “We did support the BJP in passing the Bill. We have no illusions about it. 

Seeing the reaction from minorities, especially the Muslim community, in the last two years, we think BJP dropping CAA is a great idea, or at least keep it in abeyance,” he said.

Pandiarajan termed the allegations that the AIADMK was controlled by the BJP as “Goebbels propaganda”. He told TNM, “We have stood our ground in many aspects. We are never subservient to anybody.” He went on to say that on issues like GST and Uday scheme, the AIADMK government had sought several modifications before it was accepted. “The tag of 'subservience' will not stick to us any longer,” said Pandiarajan. 

When asked about Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s recent assurance that the Adani Kattupalli port expansion project will be scrapped, the AIADMK Minister said, “The environmental clearance is not yet given. The state government will look at the pros and cons of NOC (No objection certificate) and decide on the matter appropriately. The state government will go by rule of law and ensure that all environmental concerns are addressed before the NOC is given.”

Residents living near the port have been protesting against its expansion. They allege that the project would destroy the livelihoods of fishermen in the area, and cause environmental damage.   

Watch the full interview with TN Minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan:  

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