Kanimozhi dismisses reports of TN division
Chennai: Dismissing reports that the Union government plans to bifurcate Tamil Nadu’s western region into ‘Kongu Nadu’, the ruling DMK and its allies said that nobody can divide Tamil Nadu and it is a ‘figment of imagination’. “Nobody can divide Tamil Nadu. No one needs to worry about such things, the state is now under a safe government,” DMK MP Kanimozhi told reporters on Sunday.
While Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) chief K S Alagiri termed the demand for Kongu Nadu as a “figment of imagination”, senior Congress leader Thirunavukuarasu said, “There is no chance for this. Though it has happened to other states there is no necessity for it here in Tamil Nadu for now.”
Taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the reports, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader G Balakrishnan said that the BJP was attempting this for political gains. “This is dangerous. People of Tamil Nadu will not allow this. Such actions by the BJP to enter Tamil Nadu through the backdoor will only cause severe repercussions for the party,” Balakrishnan said on Saturday. AMMK chief T T V Dhinakaran called this a divisive measure along caste lines and urged chief minister M K Stalin to clear the issue.
The speculation that the Government of India would carve out this region into either a separate state or a union territory began after profiles of the new cabinet minister were released on July 7. The profile of Tamil Nadu’s outgoing BJP chief L Murugan, who was inducted into the union cabinet, referred to him as hailing from ‘Kongu Nadu, Tamil Nadu’.
BJP leaders in the state have spoken in favour of such a move if that’s what the people desire. “Why are they (DMK) scared about this?” BJP legislative party leader, Nainar Nagendran, asked reporters on Sunday, adding that several places in Tamil Nadu end with a ‘Naadu’. “But one must keep in mind Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were divided into two. If that (bifurcation) is the desire of the people of the state, then the government must fulfil it.” BJP state general secretary Karu Nagarajan also echoed the same view. “There is even a political party named after Kongu Nadu so it’s not a wrong word. I think calling it Kongu Nadu is the desire of the people from that region,” Nagarajan said.
On June 10, a vernacular daily published a report that the Centre was planning a bifurcation as a befitting response to the DMK government referring to the Narendra Modi-led government as ‘Ondriya Arasu” in Tamil meaning Union Government and not the Central government. On the same day, BJP national president of the ‘Mahila Morcha’, Vanathi Srinivasan, on her Facebook page quoted ancient Tamil texts to support the claim that Kongu was a separate geographical region. Srinivasan hails from the western region and is an elected MLA from Coimbatore which is a part of the region.
The western regions has been the bastion of the AIADMK and two MLAs from BJP were elected from here in the election results that were announced on May 2. The AIADMK-led alliance with the BJP won 33 of the total 50 seats. While the DMK combine swept other regions in the state, the AIADMK alliance registered its best performance in the Kongu region.