New Delhi: BJP President Amit Shah today said the party will not take action against national secretary H Raja who is facing flak for his controversial remarks on Dravidian icon Periyar. A row had erupted in Tamil Nadu yesterday over Raja’s remarks indicating that statues of Periyar could be pulled down next after a Lenin statue was razed in Tripura following the BJP’s victory there. Asked if the BJP will take action against Raja, Shah told reporters outside Parliament, “No, we will not”.
As the comments in a Facebook post against Periyar, founder of the Dravidian movement, drew condemnation from several political parties in the state, Raja deleted it while the BJP’s state unit distanced itself from the issue, saying it was his personal view. In a Facebook post today, Raja said that “Facebook admin” had put up a post comparing the razing down of Lenin statue in Tripura with that of EV Ramaswamy, popularly addressed as Periyar in Tamil Nadu. “Views should be confronted by views only and not by violence.
I have no intentions of hurting anybody. Therefore, if anybody felt hurt by that post, I express my heartfelt regret,” he said. “It is not acceptable to us to damage any statue of Periyar,” he further said. Two persons were arrested at Tirupattur in Vellore district yesterday for allegedly vandalising the statue of Periyar.
Taking to twitter, Shah today termed the desecration of communist icon Lenin’s statues in Tripura and Periyar’s statue in Tamil Nadu as “extremely unfortunate” and asserted that any party member found involved in destroying a statue will face severe action.
Shah’s warning to party workers came shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his strong disapproval over the vandalism. In a series of tweets, Shah distanced the BJP from the vandalism after a few party leaders appeared to be endorsing the attacks on the statues, and said his organisation believes that a wide range of ideas and ideologies can co-exist in India.