Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his Deputy O. Panneerselvam lashed out at BJP national secretary H Raja for his comment on social reformer Periyar E. V. Ramaswamy’s statues which triggered a storm in Tamil Nadu, saying the intentions of those attempting to create confusion and benefit out of it will never fructify. The state government, which is dispensing Amma’s (late CM J. Jayalalithaa) rule will never give scope for outbreak of violence.
“The thoughts of those who try to create confusion and benefit from it, in Tamil Nadu which is a role model for all the States, will never succeed,” Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam, who are coordinators of the ruling AIADMK, said on Thursday. They said none should forget that Periyar is part of the AIADMK, which is like a banyan tree. “Nobody should every dream that Amma’s government will allow any kind of violence in the State,” they said.
“The hearts of Tamil Nadu people are wounded and the hearts of people adoring Periyar are broken,” (by Raja’s comment), they further said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have spoken against disrespecting the statues of leaders, they recalled and warned “people of Tamil Nadu and the AIADMK are not prepared to accept any insult to Periyar. We are followers of Periyar.”
Mr Panneerselvam, described Raja’s claim that his comment on a social media post was uploaded by his administrator as “ridiculous and unacceptable.” Hailing the rationalist leader as a great revolutionary, they said Raja should tender a “public apology.”
In a joint statement, Mr Palaniswami and Mr Pannerselvam said as Raja’s remark amounted to slighting the rationalist leader, entire Tamil Nadu was on the boil. Stating that some were looking at Periyar as only an atheist, the AIADMK leaders said Tamil society did not do so as the late leader slogged for a societal renaissance, and for the uplift of the oppressed people. Tamil Nadu continued to be a haven of peace even when some states witnessed communal strife was due to the leader’s reformist, egalitarian ideology, they said.