Addressing an election rally here in support of his party nominees for Central Chennai and South Chennai Lok Sabha constituencies, the senior Congress leader said the two Dravidian parties were treating the April 24 Lok Sabha polls as only a 'rehearsal' for the 2016 Assembly elections.
"Why are both parties so aggressively campaigning? It is a rehearsal before staging a play. It is for 2016," he said. Criticising BJP for making no promises on reservation in its 42-page poll manifesto, Chidambaram said not even once was the word mentioned in it.
"Are you going to vote for them or their B-Team AIADMK? Voting for the A team or B Team is the same. My suspicion is if DMK is preparing to become the C-Team," he said amidst peels of laughter. While Karunanidhi was speaking against BJP's efforts to win seats in Tamil Nadu, its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was actually trying to 'enter Delhi,' and not this state, Chidambaram said.
"DMK cannot stop him at Delhi; only Congress can do. Whether voting for DMK, AIADMK or directly for BJP means a burial for reservation policy in the BJP-led government," he said recalling that his party had reiterated its commitment for the quota system. Jayalalithaa sparing BJP of any criticism and its state unit leaders toeing a similar line showed that "the cat is out of the bag", Chidambaram said.
He said he was not underestimating DMK and AIADMK but added their influence was confined to Tamil Nadu alone although they had been part of different central governments. He particularly took a dig at AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa when he recalled her withdrawal of support to the Vajpayee Government thus giving the BJP veteran "sleepless nights".
Questioning her on the power front, he asked if she had implemented her 2011 poll promise of addressing power shortage and also on making the state a power surplus one.