CHENNAI: Strongly condemning the remarks of BJP national secretary H Raja on Periyar statue, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday said, “The people of Tamil Nadu and the AIADMK government will not tolerate any insult to Periyar. We not only love Periyar, but also worship and follow him.”
In a joint statement, both leaders said “Tamil Nadu remains a model for other States in all respects. If some intend to fish in the troubled waters here, they will not succeed and Amma (Jayalalithaa)’s rule in the State will not give room for that.”They said that many viewed Periyar only as an atheist and hence, at times, their criticisms against him became substandard.
But, Tamil society did not see Periyar as an atheist. He was being viewed as a social reformer who strove to eliminate superstitious beliefs and worked for the uplift of downtrodden. This is the land of Periyar. Despite belonging to many religions, people here lived unitedly, they said.
Earlier in the day, talking to mediapersons at the AIADMK headquarters here, Palaniswami said that though Raja had apologised for the post regarding Periyar statue, his remark was condemnable.
Panneerselvam described Periyar as the ‘Thalai Cauvery’ (origin) of Dravidian movement and AIADMK has in its root Periyar’s ideals.Only because of his service, even those from the grassroot level could become chief ministers and ministers, he added.