Chennai: In a politically unsavoury incident, a group of BJP cadres blocked the official car of Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan in his home town Madurai and hurled a slipper at his vehicle following an altercation at the airport in the temple town.
Rajan, a third-generation political leader and former international banker, has been a vocal critic of the Central Government’s politics and has often countered Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on policy matters, especially those relating to GST rates, GST compensation and taxes.
Sources said on Saturday, the Minister had gone to Madurai airport to pay his respects to the mortal remains of an Army soldier from Tamil Nadu, Lakshmanan, who was recently killed in a terror attack on an Army camp in Kashmir.
Around the same time, BJP State president K Annamalai had also gone to the airport and it led to crowding. The Minister had apparently questioned why they were allowed inside leading to an altercation.
Later the Minister was proceeding in his vehicle accompanied by his security personnel when suddenly a group of BJP functionaries including women sprung up before his car and blocked it. They raised slogans against him and one of them hurled footwear that fell on the car’s front windshield. The police personnel restrained the protestors and the Minister’s convoy left the place.
Police said five BJP functionaries have been arrested and details are being gathered against the other protestors who were present at the spot.
Meanwhile, a Madurai BJP functionary G Rajkumar submitted a petition to the police claiming the Minister had used unparliamentary words directed at Annamalai and others and this had led to the protest. Claiming BJP workers were assaulted by the police, he sought action in connection with the incident.