DMK Deputy General Secretary and Nilgiris MP A Raja has implored Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to provide 'state autonomy' to Tamil Nadu and to and not push them to seek an independent country.
Addressing a party meet of representatives of urban local bodies, Raja said though Thanthai Periyar, the icon of the Dravidian movement, stood for an independent Tamil Nadu, the DMK moved away from it. But he asked Modi and Shah to not push them "on the path of Periyar" [independent Tamil Nadu].
The party, though accepted Periyar, backed integrity and democracy and said, 'long live India' and the party continues to stick to that line.
Raja said, "I am telling Amit Shah and the Prime Minister with utmost humility, I implore you in the presence of [DMK] leaders on the dais, our Chief Minister is journeying on the path of Anna [former Chief Minister and DMK founder], do not push us on the path of Periyar. Do not make us seek a separate country, give state autonomy and we will not rest till then."
'அண்ணா வழியில் பயணம் செய்கிறார் முதலமைச்சர், எங்களை பெரியார் வழிக்கு தள்ளிவிடாதீர்கள்'— A RAJA (@dmk_raja) July 3, 2022
'தனிநாடு கேட்க எங்களை விட்டு விடாதீர்கள்,
மாநில சுயாட்சி தாருங்கள்'
'அதுவரை நாங்கள் ஓயமாட்டோம்' https://t.co/gFDZoOSrn7 pic.twitter.com/BEapnK60Rq
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticised Raja's comments.
BJP spokesperson Shehzaad Poonawalla said in a tweet, "DMK MP A Raja in presence of CM Stalin, says Don't make us demand separate Tamil Nadu'. No outrage by Stalin ji on this Tukde mindset. It is one thing to oppose a party at Centre but while doing so will you start opposing idea of One India itself?"
He ended his tweet with "BJP virodh me desh virodh?", which translates to "Opposing the country in the name of opposing BJP?"
(With PTI inputs)