THOOTHUKUDI: A recorded phone conversation purportedly involving former state minister and Thoothukudi North district DMK secretary, P Geetha Jeevan against the government-appointed panel to study the demands of a section of the scheduled castes to rechristen six sub-castes as Devendra Kula Vellalar, has enraged the Dalit community against the DMK in Ottapidaram region at a time Ms. Kanimozhi has applied for the party ticket to contest from Thoothukudi in Lok Sabha polls.
In the audio being circulated in the constituency, the Thoothukudi DMK MLA, Geetha Jeevan was reportedly goading a youth (claimed to belong to Saiva Vellalar community) to sent petitions against the four-member committee appointed by the state government on the demand to name six sub-castes, Devendrakulathaar, Pallar, Kadayar, Pannadi and Kaladi as Devendra Kula Vellalar as the name 'Vellalar' has been already used to refer to a forward community, Pillaimar community that is also known as 'Saiva Vellalar'.
Responding to the caller on whether she as DMK MLA supports re-christening the six sub-castes of the scheduled castes as Devendra Kula Vellalar, Geetha Jeevan stoutly denied it, adding that the youth should gather more Saiva Vellalar organisations to sent petitions to all the sitting MPs and MLAs against the demand to name the six sub-castes as 'Devendra Kula Vellalar'.
Ms. Geetha Jeevan however denied that she had any malicious intention against any community, particularly the Devendra Kula Vellalar and added that she is suspicious of the hand of the AIADMK and BJP in the issue to pit the scheduled castes against DMK in Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituency, where Kanimozhi is most likely to contest in this election.
The DMK MLAs justification however failed to convince even the DMK men in the Dalit-dominated Ottapidaram region in Thoothukudi district as the party units in the region are said to have complained to the party president, M K Stalin and the women's wing secretary, Kanimozhi against Geetha Jeevan's remarks.
A local DMK office-bearer Manohar Raj also preferred a complaint with Thoothukudi district police SP, Murali Ramba to initiate action against the Thoothukudi MLA, Geetha Jeevan, under the SC/ST prevention of atrocities Act. Geetha Jeevan has been charged with instigating enmity between communities for her political gain. Dalit organisations too have put up posters condemning the DMK MLA in Thoothukudi.