CHENNAI: The face-off between the state BJP and the ruling DMK has hit a slipper(y) low. A night after state BJP president K Annamalai used an ‘expletive’ to criticise State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, the DMK has responded in kind.
DMK MP from Dharmapuri Dr Senthilkumar on Thursday tweeted, “BJP TN had respectable state presidents like Dr Tamilisai, Dr Murugan and Radhakrishnan etc. Now the present state president is an uncouth, uncultured, uncivilised, unrefined and disgraceful lacking political decency.” “Rowdy language he (Annamalai) uses in intimidating press and others is highly condemnable,” Senthilkumar added.
Late Wednesday night, Annamalai questioned the credentials of ‘outspoken’ Thiaga Rajan through a series of social media posts and tweeted, “Finally, You are not worthy enough for my chappals. I’ll never stoop to your level to orchestrate something like that. Don’t worry.”
Thiaga Rajan, an acerbic and consistent critic of the BJP-led Union Government, has been refusing to engage with the saffron brigade here by ‘ridiculing’ their credentials.
The latest twist in the public slanging match comes in the backdrop of a group of alleged BJP members flinging slippers on the national flag-bearing vehicle of PTR in Madurai when the latter was returning from paying homage to a deceased martyr there.
The incident, which led to the eventual arrest of a few BJP members and even saw its Madurai president Dr Saravanan quit the party after personally tendering an apology to PTR, had prompted heavy political backlash. DMK and its allies had slammed Annamalai for the impertinence. The issue refused to die down after an alleged telephone conversation between Annamalai and his party member about politicising the homage (martyr) event and attack on the minister’s car, hit the headlines last week.
Significantly, footwear has ‘tarred’ the political discourse of the State not just now. Naam Thamizhar Katchi leader Seeman, who has reportedly criticised Annamalai’s choice of language against PTR now, was in news a while ago after he waved a red and black slipper from the dais in one of his party rallies to drive home a political point. VCK deputy general secretary Vanniarasu rightly connected the two ‘slipper’ incidents and said, “Annamalai insulting the minister by showing the slipper and Seeman threatening to hit someone with the slipper are the same. Same principle.”
“From hate politics, BJP and ‘omtamizhar’ are digressing toward slipper politics,” Vanniarasu tweeted, posting a photograph of Seeman holding the slipper at the Ambattur party rally then.