‘Lord Murugan gave permission’: BJP launches vetrival yatra, defies AIADMK
The Bharatiya Janata Party launched its Vetrivel Yatra in Tamil Nadu on Friday morning, sticking to their plan despite the state denying them permission due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
BJP’s national general secretary CT Ravi and former national secretary H Raja, along with the national party’s state unit president L Murugan, are on their way from Chennai to Tiruttani temple in Tiruvallur district.
“Lord Murugan has given us permission, we are going to yatra,” CT Ravi said before leaving Chennai.
The BJP is planning to cover the abodes of Tamil deity Lord Muruga in a month-long yatra starting today and going across the state with the yatra concluding in Thiruchendur on December 6. A BJP functionary said that they have not been given permission by the Tiruvallur police and are likely to court arrest there.
Lord Murugan is associated with holding his vel meaning spear. Clad fully in saffron and holding the spear, the party state president Murugan said that they will expose those who are against Hindu deities. This controversy came to the fore after BJP went up against a YouTube channel Karuppar Kootam which ridiculed Kandha Sashti Kavasam a devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Muruga.
Police arrested members who made the video. The BJP accused the DMK of backing the members behind the group but the DMK has denied having any role in it.
The BJP, which is trying to make inroads into the state, has been preparing massively for this rally. However on Thursday, the AIADMK government, BJP’s ally, informed the Madras high court that the yatra will not be allowed. The court disposed of two public interest litigations filed on the yatra with liberty to the BJP to challenge the government’s rejection.
A few hours later, Murguan told HT, in Tamil, “Vel thulli gudhikum,” that roughly translates as the spear will enthusiastically leap. Earlier, the AIADMK government had denied permission to the BJP to hold an idol immersion rally during Vinayaga Chathurthi festival.
“It is the responsibility of our government to safeguard the public from coronavirus because of which we feel it is unnecessary during this time,” said AIADMK spokesperson and minister for fisheries D Jayakumar.
“Keeping public wellbeing in mind, it is better that the BJP gives up vetrivel rally and it is also good for their party. Law and order will take action against BJP or any common man if they don’t comply with legalities,” said Jayakumar.
The AIADMK has not been happy with its partner using their Dravidian leader M G Ramachandran’s photos and videos in their promotional content.
Meanwhile, opposition parties including the VCK, CPI (M) and Congress and those who filed petitions in the Madras high court raised red flags that the yatra could lead to communal tensions in the state as the BJP’s yatras in the Hindi-speaking belt have not been peaceful.