Chennai: Milk and Dairy Development Minister K. T. Rajenthra Bhalaji accused the DMK of instigating the minorities, especially the Muslims to turn against the AIADMK in a frantic bid to win the by-election to the Nanguneri and Vikravandi Assembly constituencies. However, the opposition party demanded the Minister’s resignation for slighting few Muslims who had petitioned him.
Alleging that the DMK had undertaken a smear campaign against the AIADMK and him, as well, to ruin the minorities’ support being enjoyed by the AIADMK, the Minister claimed the DMK wanted to portray the AIADMK as though it was acting against the interests of the minorities.
“This is condemnable. The DMK is trying to divert the attention of the minorities, for personal gains,” Mr. Bhalaji said.
He claimed three Muslims approached him a couple of days ago, seeking to be provided family ration cards to fifty families. They had also sought for establishing a part-time ration shop in their locality. “But I said part-time ration shop could be opened only if there are at least 500 families and not for less number of families. So saying I left. But the way in which they had confronted me, made it clear that they are affiliated to the DMK and have been instigated,” Mr. Rajenthra Bhalaji said.
However, denying the Minister’s charges, DMK on Saturday said an AIADMK member from the Muslim community, accompanied by few Muslims, had petitioned the Minister who instead of assuring action had conducted himself unbefitting of a Minister. “He has failed to take note that even the minorities are also citizens who pay their taxes to the government. Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji denigrated the Islamic people by asking ‘why should we help you? You won’t vote for us. Similarly, the Christians too would not vote for us’,” DMK spokesman T. K. S. Elangovan said recalling the ‘incident’ which happened in Kalakkadu in Nanguneri Assembly constituency, facing by-poll on Oct. 21.
The DMK sought the Minister to tender an apology for belittling the minorities and for violating the oath of office as minister. “He is not fit to continue as a minister. He has spoken in an intimidating manner and should step down,” Mr. Elangovan said in a statement....