BJP petitions Patil, wants DMK government sacked

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday urged President Pratibha Patil to seek the sacking of the DMK government in Tamil Nadu and of DMK ministers from the central cabinet over attacks on BJP leaders and offices in the state.

A BJP delegation that called on the president was led by party president Rajnath Singh and included senior leaders L.K. Advani, M. Venkiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Jaswant Singh.

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The anti-DMK move follows attacks in Tamil Nadu on BJP supporters and offices following a row over a shipping canal in the sea dividing India and Sri Lanka that led Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to make remarks critical of Hindu god Ram.

DMK cadres turned violent after media reports quoted former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti as seeking Karunanidhi’s head for his ‘derogatory’ remarks against Ram. Vedanti denied making the statement.

A memorandum submitted by the BJP to the president said: “The highly derogatory and insulting affidavit filed by the government of India before the Supreme Court questioning the very existence of Lord Ram was followed by an equally abusive, humiliating and blasphemous comment made by Karunanidhi against Lord Ram, who is revered and worshiped by millions in India and the world over.

“Leave aside tendering an apology, the Congress leadership or, even the prime minister has not even formally condemned these provocative comments of the chief minister.” The DMK is a key member of the Congress-led coalition.

Saying that there is a great sense of shock, dismay, agony and anger among Hindus and Indians, the BJP said: “As if that is not enough, now state sponsored attacks are being made on the offices of BJP and other Hindu organisations in the entire (Tamil Nadu) as also on the common people.”

The party has charged some ministers of the state government with sponsoring, instigating and leading the attacks and the Tamil Nadu police of failing to act against the rioters.

The memorandum said that a state minister and the Chennai Mayor led the attack on the BJP office in Chennai Sep 23. Another minister publicly called his party members to beat up BJP workers. Yet another minister instigated DMK members to storm BJP offices.

The party also expressed dismay over Karunanidhi’s refusal to apologise for his anti-Ram remarks and the later violence.

The BJP said it feared more violence Oct 1 when the BJP has called a state-wide strike demanding stoppage of work on the shipping canal. Critics of the project say it will destroy a so-called bridge on the sea built during the Ramayana era.