Tamil Nadu BJP chief reiterates Jaya’s Hindutva ‘credentials’, challenges AIADMK

Annamalai says current AIADMK leaders have changed their stance after ex-CM’s demise.
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai

CHENNAI: BJP state president K Annamalai on Monday reiterated his view that former chief minister J Jayalalithaa was an ardent Hindutva leader and that the present AIADMK leaders have changed their stance on vital issues like the Uniform Civil Code. He dared the AIADMK leaders for a debate on this if they contested his view.

Annamalai said this at a press conference after he chaired a party meeting. His assertion assumed significance as AIADMK took exception to Annamalai describing Jayalalithaa as a ‘Hindutvavadi’.

Questioned about him terming Jayalalithaa a Hindutva leader, Annamalai said: “Indeed, Jayalalithaa was an ardent Hindutvavadi. Hindutva is a way of life according to the SC verdict and it encompasses everyone.”

Annamalai recalled how Jayalalithaa supported Hindutva-related issues in the past. “On July 26, 1984, as a member of the Rajya Sabha, Jayalalithaa supported the removal of Article 370. Again, on November 23, 1992, Jayalalithaa, while speaking at the National Integration Council meeting, supported the ‘karseva’ for the Ram temple.In 1993, Jayalalithaa led a signature campaign among AIADMK cadre to get 20 lakh signatures in support of constructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya. BJP leader LK Advani took part in the valedictory of this signature campaign in Chennai”.

Annamalai said in 2003 Jayalalithaa supported the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and the Uniform Civil Code. Moreover, she urged the Central government to declare Ram Setu as a national monument. Jayalalithaa filed a writ petition in this regard before the SC. The present AIADMK opposed the Uniform Civil Code in July 2023. Also, in the Assembly, Pollachi V Jayaraman said the AIADMK will take a stand on Ram Setu after weighing in the pros and cons.

“When the RSS headquarters in Chennai was destroyed in a bomb blast, the then CM, Jayalalithaa, came forward to rebuild it. But the Tamil Nadu unit of RSS declined that offer. What is wrong in me calling Jayalalithaa a Hindutvavadi,” Annamalai asked.

Responding to a question, Annamalai said, “Had Jayalalithaa been alive now, she would have been the first person to visit the Ram Temple in Ayodhya because she spoke about the temple more vigorously than BJP cadres.”

Earlier speaking at the party meeting, Annamalai exhorted the party cadre to celebrate the BJP’s victory in Lok Sabha election on June 4. He said an internal assessment had shown that NDA will win a double-digit number of seats in Tamil Nadu.

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