Loose tongues: TN BJP chief likens journalists to ‘monkeys’; DMK leader insults women

DMK Deputy General Secretary and MP Kanimozhi apologised to BJP's Khushbu Sundar for her partyman's comments.

ByShilpa Nair

Published Oct 28, 2022 | 8:37 AMUpdatedOct 28, 2022 | 2:52 PM

Annamalai and Sadiq

DMK Deputy General Secretary and MP Kanimozhi on Thursday, 27 October apologised to Tamil Nadu BJP leader Khushbu Sundar over the derogatory speech made by one of her party colleagues named Saidai Sadiq.

In a speech, Sadiq had termed women BJP members such as Khushbu, Namitha, Gayathri Raghuraman and Gautami as “items”. He then went on to make sexual innuendos about Khushbu while talking about the time she was part of the DMK.

Sadiq’s speech, which was made in the presence of a DMK minister in the Tamil Nadu government, was flagged by several BJP members and other right-wing organisations on social media platforms, slamming the DMK functionary for his objectionable statements degrading women.

Khushbu takes to Twitter

BJP leader Khushbu herself took to Twitter and said: “When men abuse women, it just shows what kind of upbringing they have had and the toxic environment they were brought up in. These men insult the womb of a woman. Such men call themselves followers of Kalaignar (M Karunanidhi).”

She also tagged DMK chief and Chief Minister MK Stalin and Kanimozhi asking them if this was the new “Dravidian model” of governance pushed by the former.

Kanimozhi’s apology

To this tweet, DMK leader Kanimozhi responded by apologising “as a woman and a human being” for what was said by her party functionary.

“This can never be tolerated irrespective of whoever did it, of the space it was said or party they adhere to,” she said in a tweet.

Kanimozhi added that she was able to openly apologise for the remarks made by her party colleague because her leader, MK Stalin, and her party, the DMK, do not condone this kind of behaviour.

It may be noted that this derogatory speech by DMK functionary Sadiq comes after party chief MK Stalin repeatedly cautioned cadres to exercise restraint while speaking in public, and conduct themselves in a responsible manner. He had said that the actions of few leaders were giving him “sleepless nights”.

BJP chief Annamalai courts another controversy

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai came under criticism for yet again insulting journalists.

Amid the ongoing war of words between DMK minister Senthil Balaji and Annamalai over liquor sale in the state and the Coimbatore car blast case, the former on Thursday said that the National Investigation Agency should probe the state BJP chief as he was giving out details of the incident to the media and public even before the police could.

He also took on the BJP for trying to politicise the Coimbatore car blast case.

When asked about this after an event, Annamalai referred to journalists as “monkeys”, claiming that they “ambushed” him to speak to the media “like a group of monkeys on a tree”.

As for the charges levelled by Senthil Balaji, the state BJP leader said: “Why should I respond to the questions raised by dogs, ghosts and those selling arrack (liquor)?”

This is not the first time that Annamalai has insulted journalists during his press briefings. In an earlier instance, he was heard asking a reporter as to how much money he was taking from the DMK.

The recent remarks of Annamalai have been condemned by many, including various media associations and the Chennai Press Club. However, despite the criticism, Annamalai is yet to express regret for his controversial remarks.

Taking to Twitter, DMK MP Senthil Kumar charged that Annamalai was taking politics in Tamil Nadu to a new low.

“The derogatory language he uses in addressing the press/media, and the elected representatives/ministers is highly condemnable,” he said.