interview | Vanathi Srinivasan Tamil Nadu

‘BJP is exposing DMK’s hypocrisy, not targeting Stalin personally’

Vanathi Srinivasan.

Vanathi Srinivasan.   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

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Hope Radha Ravi conducts himself properly, says BJP State general secretary

DMK president M.K. Stalin feels irritated on seeing the colour saffron, and the BJP is only exposing the DMK’s hypocrisy and double standards on various issues, not targeting its leader personally, says BJP State general secretary S. Vanathi Srinivasan. Excerpts:

BJP working president J.P. Nadda held a meeting with the party’s State Committee and Core Committee on Saturday. Were any important decisions taken?

He addressed the State office-bearers for about 20 minutes and motivated them. After that, we had the State Core Committee meeting, where we discussed the political situation in Tamil Nadu and the advantages we have been enjoying and the disadvantages we have been facing. The proposed local body polls were also discussed, and we expressed our opinion on the matter.

And what is that opinion? Going it alone?

No…so far, no decision has been taken. Mr. Nadda may consult with [party president] Amit Shah and other people involved in organisational matters, because it is an important decision as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned. It may take some time. We have expressed the wishes of our cadre to him.

The BJP appears particularly critical of DMK president M.K. Stalin, though his party has been out of power since 2011. Why?

May I ask why Mr. Stalin is targeting Prime Minister Modi? Even for issues remotely connected or not connected at all to the PM, he is targeting Mr. Modi. It is all political. There is no personal vengeance. Whatever may be our party’s stand on issues, it is quite natural and obvious [for us to criticise Mr. Stalin] since he’s the Opposition leader. In Tamil Nadu, he is leading the UPA. Wherever there is an anti-Modi brigade, he is joining hands with them.

On the Thiruvalluvar controversy too, your party directed its attack on Mr. Stalin...

Even when it came to social media comments, they [DMK] were reacting to individual comments. Now, we have exposed them — how in the past Thiruvalluvar’s photo was there…in Tirukkural also, in contrast to their ideology, how Thiruvalluvar had made mentions of Lord Vishnu, Indra and Goddess Lakshmi. When one particular issue has come [to the fore], he has to face the opposite view too.

Do you believe it was an unnecessary controversy?

We don’t understand why he reacted the way he did on that issue. Mr. Stalin is getting irritated on seeing the colour saffron. Everything is getting mixed up with that. Whatever may have been his reaction, he has to face the facts.

Actor Radha Ravi’s entry into the BJP is being condemned, considering the charges he had faced during the ‘Me Too’ campaign and his vile comments against women…

We came to know about his becoming a member only after he joined the party on Saturday. We have been getting a lot of calls from a lot of people and even the film fraternity. The party is for everyone. But after joining the party, how he conducts himself, how he portrays himself…that is very important. The party has some traditions and culture. I hope he follows them.

When will the BJP’s T.N. unit get a new president?

Currently, organisational elections are on. We have to complete that by December 10 for 40 party districts. If we finish it on schedule, the process for the election of the State president should then begin.

But if local body polls are announced before that, won’t it affect your campaign?

If we are a regional party, that question will arise. We already have an organisational structure in place. We don’t think we will be handicapped.

Finally, are you aspiring for the Coimbatore Mayor’s post?

No. The party asked me, and I declined.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 9:41:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/bjp-is-exposing-dmks-hypocrisy-not-targeting-stalin-personally/article30132696.ece

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