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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

‘Not our stand’, says AIADMK after its lone Lok Sabha MP backs Hindu unity

Ravindranath Kumar, a first time MP had earlier invited criticism for voting with the BJP on the triple talaq bill in the Lok Sabha, while the party had publicly opposed it.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2019 13:19 IST
M C Rajan
M C Rajan
Hindustan Times, CHennai
Analysts feel  Tamil Nadu’s Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is  being sidelined in the party and he and his son and the AIADMK’s lone Lok Sabha MP OP Ravindranath Kumar are  trying to get close to the BJP.
Analysts feel Tamil Nadu’s Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is being sidelined in the party and he and his son and the AIADMK’s lone Lok Sabha MP OP Ravindranath Kumar are trying to get close to the BJP.(PTI)
         

Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam’s (OPS) son and the AIADMK’s lone Lok Sabha MP OP Ravindranath Kumar’s comments on Hindu unity has triggered a controversy on whether Tamil Nadu’s party is slowly giving up its Dravidian mores.

“We should all unite as Hindus disregarding other things so as to make the country a super power,” he had said on Thursday evening while participating in a Vinayaka Chathurthi event. It was organised by the ‘Hindu Munnani’, a Sangh Parivar outfit, at Uthamapalayam town in Theni district of Tamil Nadu.

This is probably the first time that a prominent AIADMK functionary has shared the stage with an organisation affiliated to the RSS. Leaders of Dravidian parties have all along shunned publicly associating with the Sangh Parivar.

“First, we are all Hindus and as such we should have emotional unity as Hindus which is very important. I have come here as a Hindu,” he said to a cheering crowd.

But his remark has not gone down well with the political establishment. The young parliamentarian from Theni constituency, wearing his pro-hindutva leanings on his sleeves has provided a handle to his detractors within the party and those in the opposition.

The first time MP had earlier invited criticism for voting with the BJP on the triple talaq bill in the Lok Sabha, while the party had publicly opposed it. The party had then taken a lenient view and let him off the hook. Though the party opposed it and staged a walk out in the Rajya Sabha, the triple talaq issue had cost it the Lok Sabha poll in the Muslim-dominant Vellore constituency last month.

According to AIADMK insiders, Ravindranath lost the opportunity to be a Union minister since there was no unanimity on his choice within the party. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) had pushed the case of party veteran like Rajya Sabha MP, R Vaithilingam, nullifying the hopes of Ravindranath. Since then, the later had been making every effort to endear himself to the BJP, they added.

Former MPs like Anwar Raajhaa had voiced concern over Ravindranath pursuing an independent line contrary to that of the party.

The AIADMK has disassociated itself from the young MP’s comments on Thursday and said that they were his own. “The AIADMK is a party above religion or caste. It embraces people from all communities and religions. What he had said is his personal view and not of the party,” party veteran and fisheries minister D Jayakumar told the media in Chennai.

But his comments have set off political tongue wagging. Analysts too say that the comments seem to be an attempt by OPS and his son to get closer to the BJP. According to political commentator K Elangovan, OPS who is being sidelined by EPS in the party and government, strives to be in the good books of the BJP.

“It was the BJP which rehabilitated the political career of OPS after his attempt to split the party with the Dharma Yudh came a cropper. As such, he has the compulsion to be loyal to the BJP. And his son who still entertains the dream of getting into the union ministry,” he said.

First Published: Sep 07, 2019 11:55 IST

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