Amit Shah’s on-stage chat with Tamilisai raises many eyebrows

The union home minister later had a terse exchange, in which hand gestures and facial expression gave an impression that he was instructing her something serious.
Amit Shah chatting with Tamilisai during the swearing-in ceremony of Chandrababu Naidu
Amit Shah chatting with Tamilisai during the swearing-in ceremony of Chandrababu Naidu (Photo | Express)

CHENNAI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s conversation on stage with former governor of Telangana Tamilisai Soundararajan, which appeared as if the former is conveying something firmly to the latter, at the swearing-in ceremony of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday caused ripples in political circles and social media.

As per the live telecast of the ceremony, Shah called Tamilisai back as she was about to cross him after wishing him and former Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who was seated adjacent to Shah. The union home minister later had a terse exchange, in which hand gestures and facial expression gave an impression that he was instructing her something serious.

The short clip immediately went viral on social media in the backdrop of Tamilisai recently striking a discordant note with party’s state president K Annamalai regarding the break up from AIADMK alliance ahead of Lok Sabha elections, paving way for speculation that Shah was reprimanding her for her comments.

Many on social media reacted angrily as to how a woman leader and a former governor from Tamil Nadu could be treated in such a disrespectful manner on a public platform. Many supporters of Annamalai within the party said Tamilisai violated the party’s rule and expressed views in public and thus a senior leader warned her. A few asked whether Shah could do this to leaders like Vasundara Raje even if they had differences.

On return from the swearing-in ceremony, Tamilisai, however, declined to talk to the reporters who were expecting that she would clarify what had transpired. With a smiling face and folded hands, she got into her car and left.

A BJP sympathiser, with significant following on X, said such a ‘warning’ from Shah could have been avoided. Kalyan Raman, a functionary of the BJP’s state intellectual cell, who has been critical of Annamalai’s leadership after the election alleged the exchange between Shah and Tamilisai was being interpreted as ‘admonishment’ by ‘paid’ supporters of Annamalai while the truth was that no one except the two knew what was discussed.

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