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Former union minister Napoleon quits DMK; joins BJP

Alleging lack of intra-party democracy in DMK, former union minister D Napoleon joined BJP, which has set eyes on strengthening its presence in Tamil Nadu ahead of 2016 Assembly elections.

An actor-turned politician and supporter of expelled DMK leader M K Alagiri, Napoleon joined the BJP in the presence of its President Amit Shah, a day after quitting the DMK.

“I did not like the functioning of the DMK. There was no intra party democracy. The party elections were not conducted the way it should be,” he told after formally joining the BJP at the party office.

He is the third prominent person to join the BJP during the Shah’s two-day tour of the state. Lyricist Gangai Amaran and choreographer Gayathri Raguram joined the party.

BJP, which led a rainbow alliance of smaller parties in the Lok Sabha elections, has been seeking to position itself as an alternative to the Dravidian majors DMK and AIADMK, accusing both of neglecting the development of the state.

Napoleon, who was Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the UPA Government between 2009 and 2012, had been sidelined in DMK for supporting party President M Karunanidhi’s elder son Alagiri, who has been removed from the party earlier this year.

A former MLA, Napoleon is also a close relative of former state minister and Tiruchirappalli DMK strongman KN Nehru.

Hailing Narendra Modi as a “visionary”, he said his entry into the BJP was to strengthen the “Prime Minister’s hands in every deed”.

Replying to a query about DMK Treasurer M K Stalin, he said, “I do not have any opinion against any individual. In fact, I spoke to Karunanidhi and got his blessings before joining BJP today.”

In a letter to the DMK President and General Secretary, Napoleon had said he was quitting the party and thanked those, who supported him. However, he did not mention any reasons for his decision.

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