Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami defends Ministers mired in controversies

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. File photo: Bijoy Ghosh

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. File photo: Bijoy Ghosh  

‘Sreenivasan regretted his actions; Bhalaji a pious man’

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Saturday defended two of his Cabinet colleagues — Forest Minister Dindigul Sreenivasan, who has faced flak for asking a tribal boy to remove his slippers, and Dairy Development Minister K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, whom Opposition parties have accused of making pro-Hindutva statements.

Addressing the media at Coimbatore airport, he defended Mr. Sreenivasan’s actions, saying the Minister was “an aged person”. “He is about 70 years of age. As there was a stick between his feet and his slippers, he had asked the boy standing nearby to remove it. He has explained it and has also expressed regret, that too publicly through the media. He has clarified that the boy is like his grandson. It is painful to see the media blowing the issue out of proportion,” he said.

On the CPI(M) accusing Mr. Bhalaji of functioning like a Hindutva propagandist, the Chief Minister said, “I know very well that he is highly pious. He may have expressed his personal opinion. The Fisheries Minister has already clarified that it (what Mr. Bhalaji had said) is not the AIADMK’s view.”

On the demand for a CBI probe into the scams involving the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC), he maintained that the TNPSC was an independent and autonomous body, adding that an inquiry was on. “The TNPSC has initiated steps to bring the culprits to book,” he said. “The government wants a fair probe and hence has not interfered [in the investigation]. The police are arresting the wrongdoers,” he added.

Public exams

To a query on cancelling public exams for Classes IX and XI, the CM said that in the absence of an examination, it would be difficult to assess the standards and quality of the students. “Exams help parents and teachers assess the capabilities of students. Already, public exams for Classes V and VIII have been cancelled following requests from parents,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 8:12:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cm-defends-ministers-mired-in-controversies/article30773692.ece

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