Statue row: BJP office attacked, Raja expresses regret

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Chennai, March 7 (IANS) Hours after a BJP office in Tamil Nadu was attacked, BJP National Secretary H. Raja on Wednesday expressed regret for his Facebook post that said statues of iconic Dravidian leader E.V.Ramasamy or Periyar will be razed in the state.

Early on Wednesday, a petrol bomb was hurled at a BJP office in Coimbatore, around 500 km from here, by unidentified persons.

Later, in a fresh Facebook post, Raja expressed his heartfelt regret for his Tuesday post which he claimed was a message posted by his social media administrator without his permission and hence he had removed it.

Raja expressed regret for the earlier post which sparked outrage. According to him, damaging the statues of Ramasamy could not be condoned.

The message that was posted and later removed said: “Who is Lenin? What is the connection between him (Lenin) and India? What connection between Communism and India?

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“Lenin’s statue was broken down in Tripura. Today it is Lenin’s statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic E.V. Ramasamy.”

Barring the ruling AIADMK, all other parties in Tamil Nadu denounced Raja.

Late on Tuesday, two persons – one of them R. Muthuraman, a BJP member – were arrested in Thirupattur in Vellore district for vandalising a statue of Periyar, who is considered the fatherfigure of the rationalist movement in Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP sacked Muthuraman from its basic membership.

The attackers at the BJP’s office in Coimbatore came in a three-wheeler and hurled the petrol bomb inside the office. Police are investigating.

Meanwhile, the President of the Makkal Needhi Maiam, Kamal Haasan, said on Wednesday that the Ramasamy statue controversy had been raked up to divert people’s attention from the setting up of a Cauvery Management Board as directed by the Supreme Court.

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On Tuesday, Kamal urged other political leaders not to waste their energy commenting on the issue.

–IANS

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