New Delhi, August 10
Widely rumoured as being readied to contest her maiden Lok Sabha election from Tamil Nadu in 2024, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday tore into the ruling DMK on a range of issues in Lok Sabha, including the DMK MPs' mention of Draupadi to attack the government for crimes against women in Manipur and their allegations of Hindi imposition on the people of the state.
Targeting the DMK's M Kanimozhi, who spoke of Draupadi, the FM, intervening in the ongoing no-confidence motion debate, said, "You speak of the Kaurava Sabha, of Draupadi. Have you forgotten Jayalalitha?"
Sitharaman recalled the March 25, 1989 incident of then leader of opposition J Jayalalitha's sari being pulled in the Tamil Nadu assembly to tear into the DMK, and said, "No politics should be played on crimes against women but I want to remind this House of one incident on March 25, 1989 in the Tamil Nadu assembly. The sari of leader of opposition J Jayalalitha was pulled and DMK members seated there laughed at her, made fun of her. You are talking of Kaurav sabha, or Draupadi? Has the DMK forgotten Jayalalitha? Jayalalitha took oath that she will not return to the House until she became CM and she returned after two years. That party which was in power when Jayalalitha's sari was pulled today talks of Draupadi, unbelievable," said the FM.
She also attacked the DMK for questioning the installation of the historic Sengol in the Lok Sabha of the new Parliament House and said, "Was the Tamil pride not hurt when the Sengol was used as a walking stick of a former prime minister and kept in a private museum? Narendra Modi restored it to its glory."
Sitharaman further questioned the DMK for terming Tamil Nadu's traditional sport Jallikattu as "barbaric" and said PM Modi restored the sport in the state.
She then quoted Maposi, well-known scholar of Tamil text ‘Silapathikaram’, to say that PM Modi was "implementing the Silapathikaram principles of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’."
"Maposi wrote in 1951 that we are Tamils not Dravidians, our motherland is Tamilgam not Dravidam. He talks of India's oneness but a separatist language influences the kind of language which Kanimozhi speaks," the Madurai-born FM said.
The ruling BJP is actively concentrating on Tamil Nadu's 39 Lok Sabha seats for the 2024 general election with Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently launching the party's six-month-long padyatra in the state, which will conclude in January next year.
The PM's Kashi-Tamil Samagam is part of the BJP's electoral push in Tamil Nadu, which is also a key part of the government's ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ plan.
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