CHENNAI: The BJP and its alliance partners in Tamil Nadu are claiming consolidation of Hindu votes in their favour owing to the "anti-Hindu" speeches of leaders of the opposition DMK and DK, but the DMK rules out this issue impacting its poll prospects.
"People are now saying the AIADMK-led alliance believes in God while the DMK-led alliance is atheist and anti-Hindu. Nowadays there is no distinction between Aryan gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and Dravidian deities (Murugan, Amman and others). In Tamil Nadu, people now go to all temples," Bharatiya Janata Party's state OBC Morcha chief S.K. Kharventhan told IANS.
The AIADMK-led alliance consists of the BJP, the PMK, the DMDK, the TMC, the PT and others. None of the parties preach atheism.
On the other hand, the DMK-led alliance consists of the Congress, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the VCK, the Indian Union Muslim League and others.
Recently K. Veeramani, the leader of Dravidian social movement DK, which is supporting the DMK-led alliance, said at a meeting said if there were mobile phones during the era of Lord Krishna, then the deity would have taken videos like that of the alleged perpetrators of the Pollachi sexual abuse-cum-blackmail issue.
Linking the Hindu god with that of the Pollachi sex scandal accused has incensed not only the BJP and other Hindu outfits but also others. The state police has registered a complaint against Veeramani.
However, the DMK or its alliance partners are maintaining a silence on Veeramani's speech and also rule out its impact.
"We have grown over the years talking such issues in strong terms. This will not impact the prospects of our alliance in the April 18 Lok Sabha polls and the assembly by-elections for 18 constituencies," DMK spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS.
"The issue before the people is the non- or bad performance of the K. Palaniswami government in the state and that of the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
"Leaders of DK always talk like that even though the stage is ours. It is their policy," Elangovan added.
In order to soothe the sentiments of the Hindus, DMK President M.K. Stalin, in a public rally, said he is not against Hinduism, adding that his wife goes to temples and he does not prevent her.
However, there have been social media messages recalling Stalin's derisive remarks about Hindu marriage customs while attending a Muslim's wedding.
Social media messages also cite late DMK President M. Karunanidhi's statement that "Lord Rama is a drunkard" and the term Hindu also means "thief".
Further, controversies about allowing women of all ages into Kerala's Sabarimala temple, Tamil movie lyrist and DMK sympathiser Vairamuthu's comments about Hindu goddess Andal and so on are also going around the social media.
The BJP said that, as a strategy, its topline leaders or poll candidates do not talk about the alleged anti-Hindu stance of their rivals. "Second line leaders and party cadres spread the message. People also know that," Kharventhan said.
According to him, there may be four-five percent vote shift in favour of the AIADMK- led alliance owing to such "anti-Hindu comments" of the rival alliance. Elangovan dismissed the claims. "The party rallies and the meetings addressed by our candidates attract huge crowds, which itself shows the support for our alliance."
"May be some fence sitters may vote for AIADMK over this issue. But that number will be very negligible," he added.