CHENNAI: The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) on Tuesday sought the removal of a Tamil Nadu minister who said party chief Kamal Haasan's tongue should be cut off for commenting that independent India's "first extremist, Godse was a Hindu".
MNM general secretary A Arunachalam strongly condemned senior AIADMK leader KT Rajendra Bhalaji's comments, saying it showed that the minister lacked "political ethics and personal dignity".
"As the elected representative of the people and the minister for milk and dairy development, Mr Rajendra Bhalaji has broken the promise he made when he took oath as a minister. So he must be removed from his post immediately," Arunachalam said in a statement.
On Monday, Bhalaji had said Haasan's tongue should be cut off for saying that free India's "first extremist was a Hindu".
"His tongue should be cut off. He has said (free India's first extremist) was a Hindu. Extremism has no religion, neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian," the minister had said.
Haasan had said on Sunday that "free India's first extremist was a Hindu", referring to Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi.
The actor-turned-politician's remarks had drawn condemnation from the BJP, which accused him of indulging in "divisive politics", but found the backing of the Congress and the Dravidar Kazhagam.
Haasan had said he was one of those "proud Indians" who desires an India of equality and where the three colours in the Tricolour, an obvious reference to different faiths, "remained intact".
"I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Free India's first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (extremism, apparently) starts," he had said in bypoll-bound Aravakurichi.