In the speech, Mr. Elangovan had made certain remarks on the Poes Garden meeting that AIADMK leaders said “bordered on vulgarity.”
The protests over the remarks of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president E.V.K.S. Elangovan on the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa divided political parties right down the middle, with the BJP condemning the speech and the DMK hitting out at agitations by AIADMK workers. Chennai saw AIADMK trade union members taking to the streets in 86 locations and burning effigies of Mr. Elangovan outside the Congress headquarters at Satyamurthy Bhavan. Mr. Elangovan’s residence in Manapakkam also witnessed protests. When Congressmen tried to burn the effigies of Ms. Jayalalithaa in retaliation, they were stopped by the police. Sources said 15 Congressmen were arrested.
The agitations broke out after the video of the speech of Mr. Elangovan at a Congress fast last week went viral on social media on Sunday. In the speech, Mr. Elangovan had made certain remarks on the Poes Garden meeting that AIADMK leaders said “bordered on vulgarity.”
“How could anyone stand such observations made about the Chief Minister? Mr. Elangovan is unfit to be in politics. As AIADMK loyalists, our outrage is justified. He should tender an unconditional apology,” AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP A. Navaneethakrishnan said.
Reacting to the incidents, Congress national spokesperson, Kushboo, said the actions of AIADMK workers were condemnable. “The police have remained a silent spectator. No one has been arrested. One of our party members has been injured. This is dictatorial functioning,” she charged. Asked whether she justified Mr. Elangovan’s remarks, she said they were being grossly misinterpreted and taken out of context. Congress MLAs filed a complaint with City Police Commissioner’s office in the evening.
The entire incident also exposed the political fault lines in Tamil Nadu.
The BJP took strong exception to the comments of Mr. Elangovan, which had dragged in Mr. Modi too. Party national secretary H. Raja met the Director General of Police and filed a complaint against the Congress leader. State BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan said a protest would be held on Wednesday against Mr. Elangovan.
On the other hand, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi came out in support of Mr. Elangovan and wondered why the AIADMK government had not taken the usual route of a defamation case if they disagreed with the comments.
“Instead of expressing their views in a democratic manner, the ruling party members, who should be upholding the law, have indulged in violence outside the Congress office and Mr. Elangovan’s residence. This is unacceptable,” he said.
These sentiments were echoed by MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who visited Mr. Elangovan at his residence.