BJP leader H Raja on Wednesday apologised for his controversial remarks in a Facebook post on Tuesday threatening to “bring down” statues of Dravidian icon E V Ramasamy ‘Periyar’, even as he questioned the relevance of the erstwhile Communist leader Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov ‘Lenin’ in India. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader blamed one of the administrators of his social media page for the controversial post, in an apology shared on his Facebook page today. The post was later deleted.
Hours after the BJP leader’s Facebook post was published on Tuesday, two men were held in Vellore for allegedly vandalising a Periyar statue. Police said the arrested men, Muthuraman and Francis, were in an inebriated state. While Muthuraman is a BJP worker, his friend Francis belongs to a Communist party. READ: Hours after BJP leader H Raja’s post, Periyar statue vandalised in Tamil Nadu
Muthuraman has been removed from the BJP’s primary membership, a statement issued by state party chief Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the leader had said on Facebook “Who is Lenin? What is his relevance in India? Why is India connected to Communism? Yesterday, Lenin statue was brought down in Tripura. Tomorrow, statues of caste fanatic E V Ramaswamy Periyar will be brought down.” The post was accompanied by a video of BJP supporters vandalising a statue of Communist leader Lenin in Tripura after the party managed to form an alliance with the IPFT. READ FULL STORY: Tripura BJP workers, supporters bulldoze Lenin statue amid cries of ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’
His remarks invited strong criticism from different political groups and he later deleted the post. Periyar, founder of the Dravida Kazhagam party who had also led the self-respect movement, is revered in Tamil Nadu, irrespective of political affiliations.
Reacting to Raja’s statement, DMK working president M K Stalin demanded his arrest.
“Nobody has the right to touch Periyar’s statue. He (Raja) has been doing this for a long time to incite violence. He should be arrested under Goondas Act and put behind bars,” Stalin said.