While Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan claimed the protest “had no effect” on the PM’s name or fame in any way, BJP’s state unit President Tamilisai Soundararajan said it was not reflective of the people’s sentiments
Speaking to reporters at the airport here, Radhakrishnan said, “Yesterday’s protests that included waving black flags at Prime Minister Modi had no effect on his name and fame.”
To a question on the party’s alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the minister said the announcements would be made at the appropriate time.
Soundararajan said Modi’s visit Sunday, when he laid the foundation stone for an AIIMS at Madurai, was aimed at the development of southern Tamil Nadu and questioned what Vaiko had done for the region in the past as an MP.
She also took a dig at the MDMK leader’s vow to make M K Stalin the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, seeking to remind him of his bitter rivalry with the DMK President in the past.
“Your black flag protest is for your own publicity and it does not reflect Tamil Nadu people’s sentiments,” she said in a statement.
“People will not forgive those who showed black flags to the Prime Minister who had come for (launching) public welfare schemes. The BJP will also not tolerate those making cheap criticism against the Prime Minister,” she added.
Led by Vaiko, MDMK cadres had on Sunday staged the protest against Modi at Madurai, accusing him of betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu.
Protesting party workers raised slogans against him and also released black balloons, alleging he had betrayed the interests of Tamil Nadu on Cauvery and other issues.
Pointing out at Vaiko’s strong pro-Sri Lankan Tamils stand, Soundararajan sought to know why he was now supporting the DMK-Congress combine, accused of aiding the earlier Mahinda Rajapakse dispensation in its fight against the LTTE which resulted in heavy civilian Tamil casualty.
“This shows your often changing political colours which the people are well aware of,” she said.
On the Gaja super cyclone which hit the state coast in November 2018, leaving a trail of devastation including human casualty, she said the Centre had issued prior warnings and provided assistance to the state government, thus preventing large scale loss of lives.
The Prime Minister took part in the people’s grief even as his office monitored the relief activities by deputing Central Ministers, she added.