The minister had said that Rajinikanth may win over Karaikudi ‘aachi’ but never people's 'aatchi'.

Sellur Raju stokes controversy with his aachi comment apologises as people protestYoutube screengrab/ Puthiya Thalaimurai TV
news Controversy Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 16:10

“Rajinikanth might be able to win over Karaikudi aachi (elderly woman) but not Tamil Nadu aatchi (regime),” said TN Cooperation Minister Sellur Raju to reporters in Madurai on Saturday. And framed the way that the sentence was, it caused massive outrage against the minister, who seems to land himself in controversy every few weeks.

‘Aachi’ is a respectful term used for elderly women in the Madurai, Karaikudi regions.

Sellur Raju further said, “That’s in people’s hands only. No one can assure that now. There’s no individual. People are the masters here. It is up to them to decide who will rule. Not everyone can become MGR or Puratchi Thalaivi Amma. As far as TN people are concerned, they don’t decide overnight, it is always well thought out.”

Angry people lashed out at the minister for his comments and accused him of disrespecting women. People belonging to the Chettiar community in Alangudi and Pudukkottai protested against the comments by floating thermocol in their village pond. Karaikudi Nagarathar Sangam also condemned the comments.

The minister immediately clarified that he meant no disrespect to Madurai and Karaikudi aachis. “I didn't mean to hurt anyone. My words have been misunderstood by the media. I always respect people and society,” he said.

“I only had Manorama aachi in mind. She is a film actor. Rajini considered her his mother and acted with her as well. I only underlined that. Media has misconstrued my words,” he said.

He further added, “AIADMK respects women. We have 50% reservations in our party… I respect women as well. I didn't mean to hurt the sentiments of any community.”

On being asked if the AIADMK considers Rajinikanth or Kamal Haasan a threat, in an interview to Puthiya Thalaimurai TV, Sellur Raju said, “We are not attacking Rajinikanth or Kamal Haasan. We don’t consider them our enemies or think they are a threat. But when they criticise our government, we are forced to respond.”

Ever since his “thermocol” debacle, Sellur Raju has been the target of meme generators in Tamil Nadu.

Quite recently the minister had claimed that party members could avail government benefits only if they had the party membership card. When this evoked angry responses, the then party spokesperson KP Palaniswamy came to his defense saying, “The minister did not mean that others won't get benefits. The message is being misconstrued.”

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