New AIADMK general-secretary Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan has accused the BJP of attempting a split in the party and destabilise the government in Tamil Nadu after J Jayalalithaa’s death. Addressing an annual meeting attached to Pongal celebrations in Thanjavur district, Natarajan also alleged that the BJP was trying to “saffronise” the state. He asserted that AIADMK will not allow saffron forces to damage Dravidian politics.
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This is the first time Natarajan has spoken directly on political affairs of the state since Jayalalithaa’s death, and his wife’s ascension to the AIADMK general-secretary’s post, held earlier by the late CM. Natarajan’s remarks, made on Monday, came two days after actor Rajinikanth said that the latest political developments in Tamil Nadu were “untoward” and “unusual”, a remark that many in AIADMK see as a veiled reference to Sasikala’s rise.
Referring to the current political scenario in the state, Rajinikanth said he wonders how Cho Ramaswamy, the founder-editor of Thuglak, would have reacted if he was alive today. The event was organised by RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy, Cho’s successor as Thuglak editor. According to sources in AIADMK, the BJP-RSS camp’s alleged support to Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar in joining politics also prompted Natarajan’s anti-BJP statement.
Jayakumar denied the allegation and said she is yet to speak with any political party. Reacting to Natarajan’s allegation, senior BJP leader L Ganesan said in Tiruvaiyaru that the Centre wants “smooth relationship” with the state.
“I don’t know in what context Natarajan said conspiracy was on to destabilise the state government. But the Centre wants good relationship with the Tamil Nadu government and is giving additional focus on that,” Ganesan was quoted by PTI as saying.
Actor-turned-politician Sarathkumar condemned Rajinikanth’s remark, saying the superstar was not qualified to speak about state politics and asked Rajinikanth to clarify what he meant by the “unusual” situation.