With an unprecedented level of attacks, Twitter appeared to be a warzone for the Tweeple in Tamil Nadu as the already locking horn leaders have renewed their fight that seemingly marked a new political low in the state. As people watch by, the tensions are yet to defused at both ends with supporters are backing each other and their jibing remarks.
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Dr PTR Palanivel Thiaga Rajan is a staunch critic of the BJP and he has been waging protests against the Union Finance Minister and against the recent comments by the Prime Minister on the freebies. On the other end is Tamil Nadu BJP President Annamalai and his bandwagon. What sparked a conflict in Madurai recently has still been brewing with both the leaders, who turned Twitter into their latest warzone.
It was the event of paying homage to a martyr Lakshmanan, who was killed in Kashmir in a fight with terrorists. Lakshmanan was a native of Madurai and he died three weeks back. During that time, as a state minister, Palanivel Thiaga Rajan paid his respects to Lakshmanan and the BJP cadres also gathered to pay homage. It was the point which drew the conflict as the motorcade of the Finance Minister was attacked by the BJP cadres who alleged that Palanivel Thiaga Rajan disrespected them.
The BJP cadres went on to throw a slipper on Thiaga Rajan's car that was tied up with the national flag. The cadres of the saffron camp clamoured and raised slogans against Thiaga Rajan and the event has sparked outrage across the state. The then BJP district of Madurai Dr Saravanan had met Thiaga Rajan personally and told the reporters that he is resigning from the BJP and alleged that the party is promoting hatred.
The political twists had turned heads and the matter has become the flashpoint for a war of words between Annamalai and Palanivel Thiaga Rajan. Recently, there was audio that swiftly got attention from across the state. The audio was leaked on social media and the reports alleged that Annamalai was speaking to the Madurai unit secretary in the audio in which the former ploys to incite politics in Palanivel Thiaga Rajan's visit to pay respects to the deceased martyr.
Annamalai was heard saying that he was thinking about how he can do politics in this and dictated a plan to his secretary, which visibly unfolded later when the BJP cadres attacked Thiaga Rajan's motorcade. The police detained the cadres for their protest. Weeks after the incident, the rivalry has now got fueled by scathing exchanges between Palanivel Thiaga Rajan and Annamalai that have heated up the state with widening enmity.
On Wednesday, Palanivel Thiaga Rajan tweeted about Annamalai in which he alleged that the state BJP president seeks publicity with the martyr's body. The Tamil Nadu Finance Minister didn't mention Annamalai's name in his tweet rather he used a controversial emoji to denote Annamalai. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan wrote, "Why won't I even address by name? 1) seeks publicity w/ Martyr's body 2) engineers slipper-throwing on car w/ national flag, 3) lies blatantly, 4) rabble-rouser."
"Vile beings like (sic) & High-Court questions mental stability are a curse on Tamil society. But...also on the BJP", Palanivel Thiaga Rajan added. He released images that directly represent Annamalai and within a short time, BJP's Annamalai made a series of counter tweets to Palanivel Thiaga Rajan in which he claimed that the latter is not worthy enough for his chappals, which triggered a fresh round of tensions with several DMK cadres slamming Annamalai and stating that the BJP's politics has fallen to a new low.
In a chain of tweets replying to Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Annamalai wrote, "Mr PTR, your problem is this: You & your coterie, who only live with your ancestors' initials, cannot accept a self-made son of a farmer who also proudly practices farming - as a person. Have you done anything worthwhile in this life except being born to a great lineage & a silver spoon? You are a curse to politics & our state."
Annamalai further wrote, "You need to understand there are people like us too - who don't travel in big planes; don't shut down banks & importantly, have a balanced brain & a life. Finally, you are not worthy enough for my chappals. I'll never stoop to your level to orchestrate something like that. Don't worry!." As both the leaders have tossed a ball of fire, the IT wings of both the parties are hitting it against each other with no bottom line of an end.
While the Tamil Nadu state government tends to have amicable ties with the BJP-ruling Centre administratively, the picture is completely different when it comes politically. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan has been flaying the Centre with his scathing questions over the financial corridor between the state and the centre. Recently, he has given interviews to the national TVs in which he claimed that the Centre's policies are behind Tamil Nadu and he also lambasted the Prime Minister's remarks against freebies.
On Thursday, Annamalai took a break from the Twitter warzone and turned even more intense when he addressed the reporters. He told that if he is being hit, he will hit back. He said, "I am not a Jesus Christ to offer the other cheek if someone slaps me on the right cheek. If someone hits me, I will hit back, double the amount. If DMK does respectable politics, I will also do that." He further said, "If I think now, I can go to the village tomorrow and will do farming. Can the Chief Minister and Finance Minister do farming?."
Reacting to Annamalai's tweet against Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister Mano Thangaraj took to Twitter and wrote, "By using the most detestable language & through his choice of words, State President of BJP TN Annamalai has crossed all limits of decency, civility in public life. Not only did he instigate his fellow party cadre to fling footwear on the Indian flag on the vehicle of an elected Minister of the Government of Tamil Nadu, he is now indulging in mud-slinging on the Minister. Not only does it show his lack of character, integrity and probity in public life, it also reflects his party's basic thought process, behaviour, and conduct."
Why won't I even address 🐐by name?— Dr P Thiaga Rajan (PTR) (@ptrmadurai) August 31, 2022
1) seeks publicity w/ Martyr's body
2) engineers slipper-throwing on car w/ national flag
3) lies blatantly
Vile beings like🐐& "High-Court Questions mental stability" are a curse on Tamil Society
But...also on the BJP😁 pic.twitter.com/t8DIiVsZa8
Have you done anything worthwhile in this life except being born to a great lineage & a silver spoon?— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) August 31, 2022
You are a curse to politics & our state! (2/4)
Finally, You are not worthy enough for my Chappals.— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) August 31, 2022
I’ll never stoop to your level to orchestrate something like that. Don’t worry! (4/4)