DMK chief MK Stalin has asked party cadres to drop protests planned against Tamil Nadu Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture Mafoi Pandiarajan. This after parts of the state have witnessed DMK protests over an interview by the Minister where he reportedly claimed that Stalin was not imprisoned under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency. DMK cadres burnt effigies of the Minister in addition to voicing their condemnation of the statement.
In a tweet on Thursday, Stalin wrote, “Minister Pandiarajan's words, his background and his quality have exposed him to the world. Forgive and forget. These are the political lessons that [former Chief Minister CN Annadurai] and [former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi] taught us.”
Further, a statement from the Leader of the Opposition added that he, along with many DMK cadres, had been imprisoned during the Emergency declared by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1977. “There are prison documents to prove this in the Prisons Department, State Assembly, in addition to the records of the MM Ismail Commission of Enquiry into prison excesses during the Emergency. Anyone with doubts can peruse them to know the facts,” he said.
Stalin referred to the AIADMK leader's frequent party-hopping and said that he had reached his current political stature without undergoing struggles. Pandiarajan, a businessman by profession, launched his political career when he joined the BJP in 2000. He moved to 'Captain' Vijayakanth's DMDK, winning an MLA seat from the Virudhunagar constituency. Following this, he joined the AIADMK in 2013.
While DMK cadres burnt effigies and undertook a protest outside his residence in Chennai, online supporters of the party have been trolling Pandiarajan with memes and tweets.
Thanking Stalin for the gesture, the Minister said, "There are some misunderstandings in this issue. I will respond shortly."