December 14, 2018
V Senthil Balaji, former transport minister and close associate of breakaway AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, on Friday formally joined the DMK, giving it a boost ahead of 2019 general elections.
His entry into DMK as was being speculated for past few days strengthens the party, which narrowly lost out to the AIADMK in the 2016 assembly elections.
Balaji, who is among the 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs, signed up as the primary member of the DMK in the presence of DMK president MK Stalin.
Speaking to media persons after he formally joined the party, Balaji charged the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister were undermining the interests of the people of the state. “The AIADMK is a sinking ship. EPS (Palaniswami) got the post of the CM through deceit. After losing the next elections, he will go back to farming in Edappadi,” Balaji said.
“The EPS-OPS combine, and all the ministers are betraying the people of Tamil Nadu. I have joined the DMK today seeing Mr. Stalin’s charisma. The people of the State are ready to put the DMK in power in both the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections, and make ‘Thalapathy’ (Stalin) the Chief Minister,” Balaji said.
He however refused to criticise Dhinakaran saying that he had worked closely with him and that he was not in the habit of speaking ill of the people with whom he had worked with closely.
“I have worked under a leadership (Dhinakaran) and with people there. I am not in the habit of speaking ill of people with whom I have worked with,” Balaji said.
He forecast that more AIADMK cadres would join the DMK and predicted a facile win for the DMK in the 2019 general elections to Lok Sabha and subsequent assembly elections, whenever they are held.
Reacting to the development, Dhinakaran said he was not worried over Balaji’s desertion.
“It saddens me that he has gone and joined a party that filed a case against the AIADMK that led to Amma (Jayalalithaa) spending time in jail,” Dhinakaran said.