Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin continued his attack on the central government, when he spoke of a “war of independence” on Twitter. He tweeted, “Willful erosion of States Rights by Centre which seeks to establish a Monolith will only incite a renewed War of Independence.” He made the remark soon after several national leaders had joined him on Saturday to attack the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre.

On Saturday, as DMK chief M Karunanidhi turned 94, Communist leader Sitaram Yechury, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, National Conference’s Omar Abdullah, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Nationalist Congress Party leader Majeed Memon congregated in Chennai to take on the BJP.

Stalin spoke of several poll promises that the BJP have not yet fulfilled, and warned the Centre not to put the people through another “freedom struggle”, The Times of India reported. He also said Tamil Nadu would oppose Hindi being forced on them. More than once, Stalin brought up the Centre’s alleged moves to take over the country, saying that the BJP was trying to “saffronise” the country and that he wanted to end “autocracy”.

Rahul Gandhi echoed his ally and said even decisions like demonetisation were made autocratically, without taking others’ views into consideration. Sitaram Yechury asked all leaders to unite against the BJP. “We need to meet the challenge by uniting together,” he said.

Stalin used the occasion on Saturday to concretise his role in the DMK. Though most leaders spoke of Karunanidhi in their addresses to the crowd, the 94-year-old Tamil veteran leader has not been seen in public for several months now. His longtime nemesis, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief J Jayalalithaa also died last December, leaving a massive void in politics in the region. Several regional leaders have claimed the BJP is now trying to make inroads into the state and other southern parts of the country, especially since Jayalalithaa’s death and Karunanidhi’s apparent exit from politics.