CHENNAI: BJP national working president J.P. Nadda lashed out at the opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu saying its contribution to development, especially in agriculture sector has been only to write off farm loans but nothing substantial to improve the quality of farmers' lives. Also, he exuded confidence that his BJP will soon emerge as a strongest political party in Tamil Nadu.
Unlike the DMK, the BJP government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched several pro-people initiatives including a 100 per cent funding from the Central government to all farmer families across the country.
“PM Modi, under the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, is giving Rs 6,000 per farmer (50 crore farmers) and is providing Rs 75,000 crore for farmers every year,” he said.
Laying the foundation stone for BJP party offices in 16 districts at a function held in Tiruvallur near here on Saturday, Nadda said the Centre believed in the principle enunciated by the PM — Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas. "We work with taking everybody together and for the development of every individual, Tamil Nadu and India,” he said and added that the BJP does not work from the houses of leaders.
“It works from the offices, and thus, we decided to have a party office in each district,” the working president emphasised.
The BJP is devoted to strive for the well-being of Tamil Nadu he said while touching upon fishermen and the Cauvery issues, to assert that the Centre has taken steps to safeguard TN’s interests. “We have also taken measures to ensure the shooting on the fishermen off the coast of Tamil Nadu ends. We've also settled the authority for Cauvery waters so that the rights of Tamil Nadu are secured,” he said.
BJP admits Radha Ravi, invites public wrath
The BJP on Saturday admitted into its fold actor Radha Ravi, notwithstanding his political notoriety as a party-hopper and controversial public image as a misogynist. Former AIADMK minister Nainar Nagendran, now in the BJP, took along Ravi to meet the BJP's working president J P Nadda who was on a visit to Chennai to take stock of the party's activities and also conduct an informal survey of the options available for selecting a successor to Dr Tamilisai Sounderarajan as TN BJP president.
Nadda also admitted actress Namitha into the BJP. She was in the AIADMK and campaigned for the party in 2016, after which she became politically silent.
It appears that Nadda was not aware of the controversies surrounding Radha Ravi and that he had hopped between the DMK and the AIADMK multiple times, when Nainar Nagendran introduced the actor and sought his admission into the BJP, which was immediately conceded by the party that boasts of being different from other parties in a positive way.
Radha Ravi was suspended by the DMK in March this year for speaking derogatively in despicable manner targeting actor Nayanthara at a film function. In a couple of months, he went back to the AIADMK. "Nayanthara acts as a ghost in a film and she does a Sita role too. Earlier, they (producers) would look for someone like K R Vijaya to play the role of a goddess. It appears anyone can be cast in the role of a goddess. They can cast someone you would want to pray when you see them act the divine role; they could also cast someone you would want to call over to you", Ravi had said in a clearly sexist statement at that cinema function.
The dumping by the DMK and the quick migration to the AIADMK is nothing new for Ravi. A robust campaigner for the DMK at poll time, he had fallen out with the party leadership on some issues and crossed over to the rival AIADMK in the early 2000s and was fielded as the party candidate in the Saidapet constituency by Amma Jayalalithaa. She did not give him the ticket in the 2006 elections. He went to the DMK and returned again to the AIADMK in 2010. He returned to the DMK in 2017 and now he has joined the BJP, which has been the opposite pole for his Dravidian roots.
While his tenure as President of the Dubbing Union and General Secretary at the 'Nadigar Sangam' was caught in controversies, Ravi was also accused of sexual harassment by some women in the film industry in 2018, particularly by well-known musician Chinmayi Sripaada. She also complained that after she raised charges against Ravi, he made sure she did not get dubbing assignments.
Shocked by the BJP admitting Ravi, Chinmayi shot off twitter messages to the BJP party as well as two women Union Ministers, Smiti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman, wondering how the party could admit someone so controversial. "This man, Mr Radha Ravi is known to insult, abuse women at multiple events; even speeches on 'Go ahead!! Rape! He runs a Dubbing Union that bans those who question him / complain of sexual harassment in the industry. What message are you giving to women now?" she asked the saffron party and its women leaders.