Why can't Stalin apologise, asked MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar (File)
The BJP on Wednesday asked if DMK chief MK Stalin asked party leaders who had spoken against "Sanatana Dharma" to apologise after another party MP DNV Senthilkumar expressed regret in Lok Sabha for speaking about the heartland states in a derogatory way in the House.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar slammed the "silence" of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on the "repeated objectionable remarks about Sanatan".
"I heard TR Baalu say today that Chief Minister Stalin has told MP Senthilkumar to not make such statements. But there is a question that has to be asked to Mr Baalu and MK Stalin.
"What about Udhayanidhi Stalin's statement? Has he (MK Stalin) advised Udhayanidhi Stalin to apologise? What about A Raja? Has he advised A Raja to apologise?" the BJP leader said.
"Why can't Stalin apologise?" he said.
Mr Chandrasekhar alleged that the Opposition INDIA bloc parties have started a “new chapter of divisive politics” with north-south divide remarks as their efforts to drive a wedge on religious lines for votes did not work in the just-concluded assembly polls.
The BJP will “firmly oppose” such politics played by the Congress and other members of the “INDI Alliance”, Mr Chandrasekhar said.
“People of the country will also totally oppose such politics and expose them,” he said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters.
Mr Senthilkumar on Tuesday used a pejorative to describe heartland states while attacking the BJP. The comments led to chaos and adjournment of the House and were expunged by Speaker Om Birla.
BJP leaders decried his remarks as "hate speech" and said the voters will "wipe out" the INDIA bloc from south India as well in the next elections.
Facing flak, the DMK MP later apologised.
"Commenting on the results of the five recent state assembly elections, I have used a word in an inappropriate way. Not using that term with any intent, I apologise for sending the wrong meaning across," Mr Senthilkumar said in a post on X.
On Wednesday, he expressed regret in Lok Sabha but the BJP stepped up its attack on the INDIA bloc.
Mr Chandrasekhar said, “After three state results, a new chapter of divisive politics has been started by the Congress and ‘Indi Alliance'.
“First they play divisive politics on the lines of religion. Their (Congress) ally Udhayanidhi Stalin says Sanatana is dengue and malaria. Then the DMK's 2G scam architect and visionary A Raja says Sanatana Dharma is equal to leprosy, HIV."
During the elections, the row over some DMK leaders' remarks against "Sanatana Dharma" had been latched on by the BJP to target the Congress.
“After all these failed, they started the north-south divide strategy yesterday. Rahul Gandhi's new cronies started north and south (divide) and BJP-mukt south (narrative). And, such foolishness (when) the BJP has its MLAs and MPs in the south,” the Minister said.
“We will firmly oppose it. And people of the country will totally oppose such politics and expose them," he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)