CHENNAI: Faced by strong criticism within the party and spontaneous backlash for his controversial remark, BJP national secretary H. Raja who rushed to Delhi on Wednesday apologised for his Facebook post on social reformer Periyar (E. V. Ramasamy), which created a storm in Tamil Nadu.
Raja explained that the “remark was posted” by his “admin” and expressed his heartfelt regrets for what has happened. Blaming his Facebook administrator for the blunder, he said, “the admin had put up a post comparing the razing down of Lenin statue in Tripura with that of E. V. Ramaswamy, popularly addressed as Periyar in Tamil Nadu. Views should be confronted by views only and not by violence. I have no intention of hurting anybody. Therefore, if anybody felt hurt by that post, I express my heartfelt regret,” he said.
On the vandalisation of Periyar statue, he said, “it is not acceptable to us to damage any statue of Periyar.” Raja who was summoned by the BJP high command seeking his explanation on the issue, left for the national capital. He however declined to drawn further into the controversy which erupted in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday over his remarks indicating that statues of Periyar could be the next to be pulled down after a Lenin statue was razed in Tripura.
As caustic comments flooded over the Facebook post against late Ramasamy, founder of the Dravidian movement, Raja deleted it.
Soon after the post, like his BJP, the Tamil Nadu Brahmins Association too distanced itself from the comments expressed by Raja. “The party neither likes nor endorses Raja’s comments on Periyar statues. It is not the view of the BJP. It is purely his own comments,” party president Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan had said. The Brahmins’ association said, “the association strongly condemns the irresponsible remarks made by Raja. In future, he should avoid expressing such views.”
Later, speaking to reporters in Delhi, he claimed that his Facebook admin had put up such a post while he was travelling to the national capital for a party event. “I later removed the post and have also removed the admin,” he said and once again expressed regret. However, the move failed to cut any ice with political parties and pro-Tamil outfits in Tamil Nadu.
Opposition DMK and various fringe outfits staged protests in several parts of the State, and some even burnt Raja’s effigies at four places in Chennai alone.
The police detained scores of protesters including those who attempted to lay siege to the state BJP headquarters – Kamalalayam, here....