Chennai: The BJP on Saturday condemned the arrest of its functionaries by police for protesting against the removal of the party flag at Panaiyur on the East Coast Road here.
The arrest of some of the BJP cadres on the city outskirts was “purely politically motivated, uncalled for and unwarranted,” BJP national co-incharge of Tamil Nadu Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy said, and accused the ruling DMK of pursuing vendetta politics.
“The removal of the flagpole placed near the residence of Tamil Nadu state president K Annamalai in Chennai outskirts and the arrest of BJP karyakartas is strongly condemned… Curbing democratic rights is an unconstitutional act,” Reddy said in a statement here.
Following a complaint, the civic authorities and police removed the party flagpole, which was allegedly erected on land belonging to the highways department, in the early hours of today.
A large number of BJP workers who had gathered close to Annamalai’s house attempted to prevent the police from removing the flagpole and the party’s IT wing state secretary Vivin Bhaskaran was severely injured during the protest, the party said.
Police said they had to detain a large number of party workers and later let them off. About five persons were arrested for causing damage to public property, they added.
In the statement, the senior leader claimed that the growth of the BJP in the state, especially Annamalai’s ‘En Mann, En Makkal’ padayatra has shaken the DMK. The people of Tamil Nadu will give a befitting reply to this ‘undemocratic act’ of the DMK government at an appropriate time, he said.
The BJP will not be cowed down by such threats and it will continue to fight for justice and also expose the ‘misrule of the DMK government,’ Reddy said.
Meanwhile, Annamalai announced that his party would erect 10,000 flagpoles across the state and that the final one would be erected at Panaiyur where it was “forcibly removed by the police.”
“The draconian & fascist DMK Government should understand that it is no match to the resilience & perseverance of a BJP karyakartha. Our party flag is a symbol of integrity & sacrifice, and every BJP karyakartha will hold it high with a sense of pride. By taking one down in Panaiyur, you’ve let 10,000 more to emerge!” he said in a post on social media platform X.
Starting from November 1, the state unit will install 100 flagpoles every day for 100 days across Tamil Nadu. “The 10,000th flag will be hoisted in Panaiyur by Thiru @vivinbhaskaran, who was hurt by the state police’s aggression while protesting against the removal of the BJP Flag pole. DMK’s days are getting numbered by their cowardly actions,” the former IPS official said.
(Published 21 October 2023, 13:08 IST)