A leading light of the Ayodhya movement on Saturday called for the beheading of Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi for his comments on Lord Ram, provoking a sharp reaction from the DMK which threatened a "fitting response".
Separately, DMK MP and Shipping Minister TR Baalu said he recognised no Ram Setu, only the Adam's Bridge, and there would be no change in the alignment of the shipping channel.
Ram Vilas Vedanti, a senior member of the Ramjanmabhoomi Trust, told
Jo Karunanidhi ka sar kaat kar layega usko sone se taula jayega
(Anyone who cuts off Karunanidhi's head will be weighed against gold)."
Karunanidhi's statement that Ram was a drunkard has hurt Hindu sentiments, Vedanti said. "Nowhere in Valmiki's Ramayan has Ram been called a drunkard," he said, adding Ayodhya
would move court on Monday seeking Karunanidhi's prosecution.
Both the VHP and the Ramjanmabhoomi Trust distanced themselves from Vedanti's outburst.
PTI quoted the VHP's International Working President S Vedantam as saying: "We've come to know… that Vedanti has made some provocative remarks in Ayodhya. I wish to clarify that he is not a VHP member. The views expressed by him are his own and the VHP has never subscribed to such views."
In Ayodhya, Ramjanmabhoomi Trust chairman Nrityagopal Das said: "This (Vedanti's) is the language of a terrorist.
There is nothing new in the utterances of Karunanidhi because he belongs to the family of Ravan and Kans. Vedanti's edict is his personal view and not that of the
of Ayodhya. People should not take Karunanidhi seriously."
The VHP statement came after senior DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy threatened to hold a black flag demonstration outside the BJP's Chennai office unless Vedanti withdrew his comments.
"If anybody says that a minister should not indulge in such activities (like protesting with black flags), I will quit as minister as post is not important to us," Veerasamy said. "The blood of Self Respect Movement is running in our bodies. We will make them understand that we will not tolerate any offensive remark about our leader."
Also in Chennai, Shipping Minister TR Baalu said there was no such thing as the Ram Setu.
"Sand-shoal structures like the Adam's Bridge exist in many parts of the world. The BJP is trying to incite communal riots to gain political mileage in the Gujarat assembly election," Baalu said.
He ruled out an alternate alignment for the proposed Sethusamudram channel, saying it would prove environmentally disastrous.