Tamil Nadu minister KKSSR Ramachandran 'hits' relative, terms it 'friendly tap' amid political storm
The incident, which happened at a free goat distribution programme in Palavanatham on July 9, has provoked sharp reactions from the BJP, which is now demanding the minister's resignation.
VIRUDHUNAGAR/CHENNAI: What was supposedly a friendly tap on a relative's head has kicked up a political storm, with Revenue Minister KKSSR Ramachandran being accused to hitting a woman with a petition she submitted.
The incident, which happened at a free goat distribution programme in Palavanatham on July 9, has provoked sharp reactions from the BJP, which is now demanding the minister's resignation. Kalavathi, the woman who submitted the petition, has maintained that the minister didn’t hit her and it was just a tap. On his part, Ramachandran said it was "natural" between them as they are relatives.
"I forwarded the petition to the Collector, who was standing next to me, and promised to take steps. When she (Kalavathi) said she submitted multiple petitions regarding the same concern, I told her she could have approached the Collector earlier. She remained persistent despite my assurances that the matter would be sorted out, and hence, I casually hit her with her petition, saying we have to look into other grievances too. It’s natural between us as she is a relative," he said.
The petition was regarding old age pension for Kalavathi's 77-year-old mother. BJP State president K Annamalai lashed out at Ramachandran over the incident, telling reporters in Chennai on Wednesday that his party would besiege the minister’s residence until he apologises and resigns.
"The BJP has given 48 hours from Tuesday evening, for the minister to resign over his atrocious behaviour. Otherwise, the party will start besieging the Minister's residence on Thursday evening and the protest will continue until he resigns," Annamalai added.
He further accused the State government of not taking action against elected representatives from the DMK against whom grave charges have been levelled. Annamalai also alleged about 200 fake passports were issued in Madurai based on a police report, and urged the CBI and NIA to take over the case.