DMK’s A Raja sought autonomy status for the south state
DMK’s A Raja is not likely to step back until Tamil Nadu is given autonomy status by the central. He also threatened the central to walk down the path of Periyar and seek for a separate country until they are not given what is demanded.
While addressing party members in an urban local body, he could be heard stating in the presence of the head of the party, Stalin, “Though the icon of the Dravidian movement, Thanthai Periyar stood for an independent Tamil Nadu, the DMK moved away from it… Though the party accepted Periyar, backed integrity and democracy and said, ‘long live India’ and the party continues to stick to that line.”
He continued, “I am telling Amit Shah and the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) with utmost humility, I implore you in the presence of (our) leaders on the dais, our chief minister is journeying on the path of Anna (CN Annadurai, former chief minister and DMK founder), do not push us on the path of Periyar. Do not make us seek a separate country, give state autonomy and we will not rest till then.”
While many supporters backed A Raja’s remark, a section of the internet slammed the politician for separatist comments. On the other hand, BJP national general secretary CT Ravi calling it the “regional party’s acceptance of failure of its Dravidian politics”, said, “If they (DMK) are talking such things in Tamil Nadu after doing five decades of politics, it is clear that BJP’s growth is turning the heat on them. Realising that their ideology has failed, they are talking about such things.”
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu BJP vice-president Narayanan Tirupathi lashed out at Raja’s comment saying, “What is shocking and surprising is that chief minister MK Stalin remained a mute spectator. I condemn his silence. He has taken an oath of office, affirming allegiance to the Constitution.” He further quoted, “Tamil Nadu’s ruling party should understand that India has created states for its administrative purposes and that is precisely what the Constitution says.”
However, DMK spokesperson Constantine Ravindran justified Raja’s comment by saying, “The party travelled on the path of Anna, fully supporting India’s integrity and the principles of democracy. The message sought to be conveyed by Raja was that Tamil Nadu should be given autonomy to work towards development and uphold its rights as enshrined in the Constitution.”