nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

H Raja should apologise for his Periyar statue remark: AIADMK

09 March 2018, 03:39 | Colleen Roy

Biplab Kumar Deb takes oath as chief minister of Tripura, PM Modi attends ceremony

Biplab Deb takes oath as Tripura CM

On March 6, a statue of Periyar was defiled in Tirupattur in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu after Raja posted a comment on Facebook that the rationalist leader's statue would meet the same fate of Communist leader Lenin's statue in Tripura.

The chain of vandalism started after statues of Lenin were demolished in Tripura on Monday evening, allegedly by workers of the BJP, which have defeated the 25-year-long rule of the Left in the northeastern state in the recent assembly election. The incident came hours after BJP leader H Raja suggested it in his Facebook post responding to anger over a statue of Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin being pulled down in Tripura.

Raja on Wednesday expressed regret for the post, claiming the message was posted by his social media administrator without his permission and that he had removed it. Street protests broke out across Tamil Nadu, including in capital Chennai, with workers of the DMK and Periyarist groups burning effigies of Raja.

Raising slogans against Raja, the about 20 students wanted the police to register a criminal case and lodge him in jail, police said.

Earlier, BJP leader Ram Madhav and Chief Minister designate Biplab Deb met and invited Manik Sarkar for swearing-in ceremony. The agitators called off the protest after district administration assured them that a new statue of Ambedkar would soon be installed.

Ghosh said, he along with a team of the civic body are at the College Square to carry and transport the statue. "I have spoken to the party units in both Tamil Nadu and Tripura".

IPFT President Narendra Chandra Debbarma said the party has demanded four ministerial berths from the BJP and "we have discussed with Sarma and other leaders accordingly".

Rajinikanth's contemporary and Makkal Neethi Maiam founder, Kamal Haasan had also hit out Raja's comments.

"We will not take action against H Raja", said Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Wednesday.

"All statues are to be protected", said Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Indira Banerjee, hearing a PIL filed by advocate Surya Prakasam.

"I appeal to everyone, all parties, that anyone indulging in such acts should be dealt with strictly". The police told TNM that Francis was a member of the CPI.

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