CHENNAI: As the BJP’s State unit on Thursday staged demonstrations at its district headquarters, accusing the DMK government of trying to “bury” Tamil, State chief K Annamalai in Cuddalore courted controversy by referring to journalists as monkeys.
Annamalai, who was leading the demonstration in Cuddalore, angrily asked reporters who were seeking his quote why they were surrounding him like monkeys jumping on trees. “Before I went for lunch, I respectfully asked you to take lunch. I can’t answer to allegations raised by dog, ghost and arrack sellers.”
This last is believed to be a reference to excise minister V Senthil Balaji who had criticised his remarks on the Coimbatore blast investigation. Video of Annamalai’s comments went viral on social media, drawing condemnation from the DMK and Chennai Press Club.
In a statement, Chennai Press Club asserted that journalists are neither “slaves of Arivalayam (DMK) nor coolies of Kamalalayam (BJP). “We condemn the remarks and are concerned that journalists are continuously facing insults and threats from politicians,” the statement said. DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan also condemned Annamalai for the remark.
Meanwhile, BJP State secretary for media cell, D Sridhar said reporters had been told there would be no press conference. “However, some followed us to the venue where lunch was being served. Annamalai refused to speak to them and asked them to have lunch. But, they again surrounded him when he was leaving after lunch. We suspect this was done intentionally to create bad name for Annamalai,” he added.