“If Prime Minister Narendra Modi could accord a red carpet welcome to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we will show black flag to him whenever he visits Tamil Nadu,” said Vaiko, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary, here on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, he said Tamils were massacred in the island nation by some Sinhalese groups led by Mr. Rajapaksa, and such a person was given State honour and accorded ‘royal’ welcome at Tirumala. This was not the first time that Tamils were betrayed by the BJP and this had prompted the MDMK to quit the NDA, he said.
The attack on MDMK volunteers by the police in Tirupati was condemnable. “Our cadre assembled to stage a demonstration against the Sri Lankan President. This is an accepted form of protest. We will fight till the end and uphold the self-respect of Tamils. The MDMK will lead demonstrations against Mr. Modi whenever he visits Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Vaiko said.
MDMK cadres who staged protests at some places in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were arrested and released later, the police said.
A day after the MDMK walked out of the National Democratic Alliance in Tamil Nadu, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday suggested that another partner, the PMK, which too has been critical of the Narendra Modi government, should also leave the combine.
Mr. Swamy, who had earlier targeted MDMK chief Vaiko for flaying the government despite being in the alliance, accused the PMK of being pro-LTTE and tweeted that “PMK (founder S) Ramadoss should also depart from NDA.”
Both Mr. Swamy and another party leader H. Raja had been critical of Mr. Vaiko’s comments against the NDA on issues such as the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and move to promote Sanskrit and Hindi and had asked him to leave the alliance.
Mr. Ramadoss has been critical of BJP-led government. On Monday, he opposed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s push for making the Bhagwad Gita as the national scripture.
Mr. Vaiko quit the alliance charging the Modi government with betraying the Tamil people by working with the Sri Lankan government and pushing Hindutva agenda in Tamil Nadu.
The BJP, however, remained unfazed rejecting the MDMK’s contention that the Centre was acting against the interest of Tamils and signalled that it would not like any of its partners oppose the government.