Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the RSS and BJP after a statue of social reformer Periyar was vandalised in Tamil Nadu.
"When the RSS and BJP encouraged the tearing down of Lenin statues in Tripura, they signalled their cadres to destroy statues of those who opposed their ideology, like Periyar, the great social reformer who fought for the Dalits," he said in a tweet.
"His statue too was destroyed today in Tamil Nadu," he added attaching the photo of vandalised Periyar's statue.
The statue of Dravidian stalwart EV Ramasamy, popularly known as Periyar, was vandalised in Alangudi town in Tamil Nadu's Pudukkottai district.
The incident took place either late on Monday night or in the early hours of Tuesday. Several members of the Dravida Kazhagam, DMK, VCK and Left cadres gathered at the scene and raised slogans against Hindu outfits.
The Periyar statue was eight feet tall and was inaugurated of P Veeramani of the Dravidar Kazhagam in 2013.
In retaliation, the banner of the Sankara mutt in Salem was torn on Tuesday, and a light in their campus damaged, allegedly by members of the Dravida Vidudhalai Kazhagam (DVK).
The Salem police told TNM that the act of vandalism was primarily due to the incident at Pudukottai. But they do not discount the tension created by the Rama Rajya Rath Yatra either.
Earlier in March, BJP leader H Raja had stoked controversy by threatening to vandalise statues of EV Ramasamy. Rajaâ€™s comments came after BJP workers razed a statue of Lenin in Tripura after the party won the Assembly polls in the state.
Within 24 hours, a statue of Periyar was vandalised in Vellore districtâ€™s Tirupattur town.
While H Raja subsequently deleted the post, and claimed it was made by an admin without his permission, the remark had already set off a chain of events that led to statues being vandalised across the state.