BJP suspends Gayathri Raguramm, initiates inquiry against Suriya Shiva

Suriya Shiva was heard allegedly abusing and threatening a woman functionary in a leaked audio clip; Gayathri Raguramm was accused of violating party discipline

November 22, 2022 04:49 pm | Updated November 23, 2022 11:10 am IST - CHENNAI

Suriya Shiva (left) and Gayathri Raguramm (right)

Suriya Shiva (left) and Gayathri Raguramm (right) | Photo Credit: Twitter

BJP Tamil Nadu president K. Annamalai said on Tuesday that an enquiry had been initiated against the State general secretary of the Other Backward Classes wing, Suriya Shiva, following the leak of an audio clip, in which the latter is allegedly heard abusing and threatening a woman minority wing functionary of the party.

Mr. Shiva was advised not to take part in any party functions until the disciplinary committee submits its enquiry report in a week.

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In a related development, Mr. Annamalai suspended Gayathri Raguramm, the party’s Other States and Overseas Tamil Development wing president, from all the positions she held in the party for a period of six months. He asked party functionaries and cadres not to be in touch with her for any party-related matters.

While the statement issued by Mr. Annamalai accused her of continuously violating party discipline and bringing disrepute to the party, the immediate trigger appeared to be her tweets on Tuesday regarding the leaked audio clip.

In the leaked conversation, Mr. Suriya is allegedly heard abusing and threatening Daisy Saran, a functionary of the party’s State minority wing, using expletives. Expressing solidarity with the woman functionary, Ms. Raguramm said it was a mistake to give State-level posts to people like Mr. Suriya.

In a reference to Mr. Annamalai’s recent protest regarding derogatory remarks made by a DMK functionary against women in the BJP, she said in her tweet that the leader had assured of stringent action against those abusing women.

Alleging that she was being trolled by certain camps in the party for washing dirty linen in public, she questioned what happened when a complaint was raised.

Earlier controversy

A few days back, she ran into an intra-party controversy when she claimed that while the party had a strong footing in the Nilgiris for long, a false perception was now being created that it has grown in the district only in the past two years. On Monday, she accused a group in the party of creating a false narrative stating that she was against Mr. Annamalai.

Responding to her suspension, she said in a tweet that she was not against the party. “No individual is a party. This is how power can take any decision without an enquiry,” she added.

Mr. Annamalai issued another statement on Tuesday asking all its cadres and functionaries, apart from official spokespersons, to give interviews to YouTube channels only after approval. He said that in some recent interviews, a few members had expressed their personal opinions that went against the party’s stand.

In a statement, Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, national co-in-charge of the party in Tamil Nadu, urged office-bearers and others to toe the party line in their speeches and statements in the mainstream or social media and uphold the dignity, decorum, unity and integrity of the party. Any internal issues should be brought to the notice of the State leadership, he added.

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