Days after Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP A Raja said that the Union government should not force Tamil Nadu to go back to its demand for being separate, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tamil Nadu has reacted by saying that the state can be “split into two” if Prime Minister Modi thinks so.
BJP MLA Nainar Nagendran on Tuesday, July 5, said that the region can be divided into two states — ‘Pandiya Nadu’ and ‘Pallava Nadu’ — for administration.
"Don't think we can't do it. We are in a place where we can do it. If our PM Modi thinks, it shall be done," he said.
“Tamil Nadu has 234 legislators and it can be divided into two states with 117 legislators each,” Nagendran elaborated on the two imagined states, adding that BJP leaders will become Chief Ministers in the south and north. He said that if Raja can demand a separate state, then he can have a wish to divide Tamil Nadu.
Speaking at a meeting in Namakkal on July 3, A Raja — addressing the Union government — said, “Do not push us to seek independent Tamil Nadu.”
The demand for a separate Dravida Nadu, propagated by Periyar and Anna, has remained despite the Jawaharlal Nehru-led government banning it in 1962.
While the demand for federalism has been put forth frequently by the DMK party, it is this meeting that has stirred up the Dravida Nadu topic again.
Raja was speaking in a meeting held for DMK local body representatives in Namakkal titled "Mathiyil Kootatchi, Maanilathil Suyatchi" (roughly meaning federalism at the Centre, and autonomy for states). This was the idea of former CM M Karunanidhi, which has stuck with the party till date.
DMK Hits Back
Meanwhile, the DMK has slammed Nainar Nagendran’s recent statement, with DMK MP TKS Elangovan accusing the BJP of being “drunk with power”.
Speaking to media persons in Chennai, Elangovan said, "This is not in retaliation to what Raja has said. The division of state should be based on the people's demands. This only shows that they have powers that they can misuse or abuse. This shows the mindset of the BJP."
(This story has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute)