Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP A Raja delivered a fiery speech in Nammakal this week, where he told the Central government to grant Tamil Nadu more autonomy and warned not to force the state to seek independence from India.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi says all states are to be seen the same, and Home Minister Amit Shah says if you want unity, learn Hindi,” Raja, who is the DMK deputy general secretary told the party meeting in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.
'அண்ணா வழியில் பயணம் செய்கிறார் முதலமைச்சர், எங்களை பெரியார் வழிக்கு தள்ளிவிடாதீர்கள்'
'தனிநாடு கேட்க எங்களை விட்டு விடாதீர்கள்,
மாநில சுயாட்சி தாருங்கள்'
— A RAJA (@dmk_raja) July 3, 2022
“The party's founding father Periyar, until [his] death, demanded an independent state. But we kept aside that demand for our democracy and national integrity," Raja reportedly said.
"I am telling Amit Shah and the Prime Minister with utmost humility, I implore you in the presence of (our) leaders on the dais, our Chief Minister is journeying on the path of Anna,” he added referring to C N Annadurai, former Chief Minister and founder of the DMK.
“Do not push us on the path of Periyar,” he warned.
“He [Periyar] urged the youth to build an independent Tamil Nadu… He said that an independent Tamil Nadu is the final destiny. Even though we regard him as the founder of our political thought, we have abandoned his call for the sake of India’s unification.”
Tamil Nadu gets a less than 1.2% of the funds allocated to all states from the Centre, despite contributing 10% to India’s Goods and Services Tax revenues, Raja claimed.
“Do not make us seek a separate country,” he added. “Give us state autonomy… we will not rest till then."
His remarks were slammed by the BJP representatives in Tamil Nadu, with state BJP chief K Annamalai claiming it was “seditious” and “within the context of Indian constitution, is an offence”.