Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Wednesday, April 26 said that the audio clip released by T.N. BJP president K. Annamalai, purportedly containing the former’s voice, was fabricated by a “blackmail gang” to achieve their political ambitions and to disrupt the good governance being delivered by the ruling DMK.
Mr. Rajan, who posted his statement as a video on Twitter, began his message by showing a few deepfake videos. “If such authentic-looking videos can be machine generated, imagine all that can be done with audio files,” he said.
The Minister alleged that the BJP’s State president had descended to posting “an audio of somebody telling nobody about some others...This is the base level of his politics.” He said that he strongly and specifically denied “having said to any individual, personally or on the phone, at any point of time, what is contained in the audio clip being circulated on social media since yesterday, the source of which nobody accepts ownership for.”
The person in the audio clip released by Mr. Annamalai on Tuesday seemed to be criticising the functioning of the DMK, with an indication that it was controlled by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s son and Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development Udhayanidhi Stalin and his son-in-law, V. Sabareesan.
The Minister said certain forces, who are unable to digest the achievements [of the DMK], are indulging in using advanced technologies and cheap tactics, such as releasing this “fabricated audio clip.”
Mr. Rajan said that the present government, under the leadership of Mr. Stalin, had delivered “record-breaking, innovative and compassionate administration” under what is called the Dravidian model of governance. Arguing that the present government, through major financial reforms, has achieved what was not attempted in the past decade, the Minister said the results are superior to what the Union government has achieved in the last decade.
While Mr. Stalin is not only the “guiding light” of Tamil Nadu, but the hope of the country, Mr. Udhayanidhi is the hope for the next generation and has received great reception from the Tamil people, the Minister said.
Mr. Rajan said he was among the foremost of those who urged for Mr. Udhayanidhi’s elevation to the State Cabinet, based on the latter’s appeal as a youth icon. He praised Mr. Udhayanidhi for surpassing all expectations as a Minister and being a hands-on and grassroots administrator, just like his father.
The Minister further said that Mr. Sabareesan had been his most-trusted advisor, aide and pillar of support since his first days in public life. “Even Opposition parties have not laid accusations against Thiru Udhayanidhi and Thiru Sabareesan,” he said.
He said, similarly, all the Ministers in the “Dravidian model government” have been working as a cohesive team to achieve spectacular results. “Why would I ever say anything negative about any of them,” he said.
Alleging that such fabricated audios were being generated in a vain attempt to cast aspersions on them [Mr. Sabareesan, Mr. Udhayanidhi and other Ministers] and to create rifts within the DMK, he said such “cowardly attempt will never succeed”. “From the inception of the DMK, all of us have lived together as one movement, one party and one extended family and we will always continue to do so,” he said.