BJP’s Nainar Nagenthiran says AIADMK lacks spine, remark sparks row

The remark has triggered outrage from AIADMK cadres who have filed a police complaint against Nagenthiran.
BJP Tamil Nadu Vice President Nainar Nagenthiran
BJP Tamil Nadu Vice President Nainar Nagenthiran
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Legislator and BJP Tamil Nadu Vice President Nainar Nagenthiran courted controversy with his remarks on the AIADMK. Nagenthiran, a former AIADMK man, said the Dravidian party lacks a backbone while speaking in the Assembly. His statements, made at Chennai’s Valluvar Kottam during a BJP-organised protest against the death of the Thanjavur student M Lavanya, triggered outrage among AIADMK cadres across the state.

“It is a secondary matter that the AIADMK is in a coalition with the BJP, but I am not able to see the AIADMK talk with potency and backbone in the Assembly. You can ask me why I (BJP) cannot speak there. It is because we are only four in number and are not big enough to be heard,” Nainar said at the protest meeting in Valluvar Kottam held on Tuesday, January 25. Nagenthiran said that the AIADMK did not have ‘aanmai’ or masculinity.

Outraged, AIADMK hit back at Nagenthiran for his remarks. AIADMK IT Wing secretary and Madurai Zone Vice President, Raj Satyen, pointed out the sexism in Nagenthiran’s words. “Masculinity is not a word but an action,” Raj Satyen tweeted. He even asked Nagenthiran to ‘prove his manliness’ by resigning from his MLA seat by winning as an AIADMK candidate, and emerge victorious on his own.

AIADMK North Chennai youth wing has also filed a complaint against Nainar Nagenthiran at the Peravallur station, demanding the latter’s arrest. Following the backlash, Nagenthiran tweeted that his statements about AIADMK were misconstrued. “During the protest at Valluvar Kottam…my views on AIADMK were misunderstood. My only intention was to secure justice (for Lavanya) through the protest,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

According to reports, BJP President K Annamalai clarified to leader of opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami that Nainar’s remarks were not the opinion of BJP Tamil Nadu. He reportedly  expressed his regret over the incident to EPS. Speaking to the media, he added that the alliance between the AIADMK and the BJP was a natural one, and that AIADMK is acting as a strong opposition party.

Meanwhile, all AIADMK leaders including O Panneerselvam and EPS have urged the state government to take action against the death of the Thanjavur student. OPS even asked the state to provide a relief of Rs 25 lakh to the kin of the deceased student.

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