Chennai: The BJP on Sunday dusted up a nine-month old video of former Union Minister and DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran portraying Biharis in poor light, to trigger a divide within the opposition-led INDIA block in which the DMK is a key constituent.
Sharing on X, the video of Maran derisively referring to Biharis, who speak Hindi, as only being capable to taking up menial jobs as construction worker and conservancy workers, BJP national IT department in-charge Amit Malviya, commented, “I.N.D.I. Alliance’s divisive agenda is out in full force...”. He said the DMK MP was saying “Hindi speakers from UP and Bihar come and clean toilets in TN. Rahul Gandhi and Nitish Kumar must clarify, if this is the stated position of the Congress and JDU.”
Watch the video below
Maran had made the comments at a DMK public meeting to highlight that Tamils had progressed only because the State had rejected Hindi and adopted the two-language formula of Tamil and English. He said that is why Tamils such as Google’s Sundar Pichai were heading multi-national corporations.
Responding to this, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, whose RJD is a constituent of the INDIA bloc, said it is unbecoming of a DMK leader to say something like this as the DMK believes in social justice. “Had the DMK MP highlighted caste inequities, had he pointed out that only people from some social groups took up such hazardous jobs, it would have made sense,” Yadav said. He condemned the disparaging reference to the “entire populace of Bihar and UP” and called it “reprehensible”. Yadav added that while the DMK shared the RJD’s social justice ideal, its leaders should avoid saying thing that counter this ideal.
Congress leader Pawan Khera also disapproved of Maran’s old remarks. “If he said this, then it is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
While the DMK questioned the national party for raking up old videos, BJP state president K Annamalai questioned, “How does it (the video being old) change while DMK, a party built of divisive principles continues to use such language even today?” He shared screenshots of older posts on X by State Industries Minister TRB Rajaa making some demeaning comments about the Hindi-speaking people.