Puducherry/Chennai: DMK and several other political parties in Tamil Nadu today hit out at superstar Rajinikanth for his comments that too many protests would turn the state into a ‘graveyard’. However, the ruling AIADMK welcomed his remarks, made in the backdrop of the anti-Sterlite protests, blaming anti-social elements for the recent violence in Tuticorin that resulted in 13 deaths in police firing.
After visiting the injured in Tuticorin, Rajinikanth had yesterday warned that Tamil Nadu will become a ‘graveyard’ if there were too many agitations. The actor, who has announced he will float a political party, also said anti-social elements had infiltrated the protest by locals demanding closure of Sterlite’s copper smelter unit in the southern town. DMK Working President MK Stalin, MDMK founder Vaiko, AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and VCK’s Thol Thirumavalavan hit out at the aspiring politician for his comments.
Speaking to reporters in neighbouring Puducherry, Stalin said he wondered if Rajinikanth was indeed making his own viewpoint.”There is a doubt if this is his voice as BJP has also been making such remarks. Whatever it is, he is a Superstar and himself has said anti-social elements had infiltrated the protesters. It would be good for the country if he could identify such persons,” he said.Further, nothing can be resolved without a struggle, Stalin, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, added. “Whether the anti-Hindi agitation (of the 1960s) or the freedom struggle or the pro-jallikattu protests, all of them (the goal) had been achieved through agitations. I hope he is aware of it,” he said.
Dhinakaran said the anti-Sterlite agitation was a people’s protest. “Are the dead or those injured anti-social elements?” he questioned. MDMK founder Vaiko said Rajinikanth’s comments have “hurt crores of Tamils.” Thirumavalavan said while the actor supported protests in his films, “it is surprising” he was now speaking out against them “We are agitating to ensure Tamil Nadu is not turned into a graveyard,” Thirumavalavan, whose party is among those involved in various protests including against NEET, said, hitting back at Rajinikanth’s ‘graveyard’ remarks.
Meanwhile, the AIADMK, critical of the actor on many issues, lauded him for speaking “with conscience.” A write-up in the party mouthpiece “Namathu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma” also pointed out his praising of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for dealing with anti-social elements with an “iron fist.””Superstar Rajinikanth has spoken frankly with conscience… he has endorsed Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s statement that anti-social elements had infiltrated the protestors,” it said. The actor’s remarks were “welcome,” it added.