Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board Minister and Harbour Constituency MLA Sekar Babu’s remark on North Indians while attending an event in his constituency has landed him in a soup.
Babu, DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran and DMK MLA I Paranathaman were invited to inaugurate the Foodbank event organised by Mahavir International Chennai Metro, where the minister took a dig at those who didn’t vote for DMK and labeled them as supporters of BJP.
In an area that holds a sizable population of Hindi-speaking community, Babu said, “I have been living in this area for more than 40 years and I have seen the growth of the North Indians. You are economically empowered now because of the Dravidian parties. They uplifted your standard of living, not BJP. Under some illusion, you have been continuously supporting that (BJP) party. Even our parliament member (Dayanidhi Maran) would ask me why I am struggling for you as you don’t vote for us, but I would say they also belong to this land and as a legislative member, it is my duty to be neutral for everyone.”
Babu further listed out how the community didn’t support them in previous elections but they have continued to address their issues. He said even in the recently concluded elections, they got just 50 votes in certain areas in comparison with BJP which got around 300-350 votes.
“When I ask the people here why they ignore our party despite our efforts to uplift their livelihood, they say they voted for us. Earlier we used to register votes through ballot paper, but now we have EVM machines which will show how many votes are recorded in each area. But it is fine, though you ignore us, we won’t ignore you,” he said.
Babu quoted a Tamil couplet from Thirukkural which says that the proper punishment to those who have done evil (to you) is to shame them by showing kindness.
Babu’s remarks have not gone down well with BJP leaders, who accused the minister of threatening them for not voting for DMK.
BJP Mahila Morcha President and Coimbatore (South) MLA Vanathi Srinivasan said the comments made are condemnable. “To see elected officials discriminate Indians on the basis of their native roots is against every grain and soul of our constitution, (sic)” she said in a tweet.
Less than 38% voted for @arivalayam in 2021 election. It is unfair to single out any community n threaten them for exercising their right and voting their choice. It’s your duty to serve them. We the @BJP4TamilNadu promise to stand by every citizen against such threats n attacks https://t.co/TwTcCFWl72
— Vinoj P Selvam (@VinojBJP) May 26, 2021