The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu has slammed BJP's state chief K Annamalai for tweeting a short video clip of its leader TR Baalu's speech on temple demolition, accusing it of selectively cutting out a part of his longer speech to make him sound like he took pride in demolishing temples. While in the portion that Mr Annamalai shared, Mr Baalu appears to brag about temple demolition in his constituency, the complete speech shows him explaining his model -- how as union minister he had rebuilt temples, that were demolished for highway projects, after convincing devotees. The DMK has called the former IPS officer "cut and paste Annamalai".
"I've demolished a 100-year-old temple, this same TR Baalu in one place at my constituency demolished Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati temples on the GST road. I know this won't fetch votes. But I also know how to get votes," Mr Baalu could be heard saying in the clip tweeted by the BJP leader.
DMK men take pride in demolishing 100-year-old Hindu temples.— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) January 29, 2023
The very reason we want the HR&CE dissolved and want the temple freed from the clutches of government. pic.twitter.com/c4AQTaRkPN
However, the longer speech, which could be found on YouTube, showed him explaining how he built bigger temples for devotees as there was no way to avoid demolitions for the infrastructure project.
"If you see on GST road, these three temples were there earlier. I only demolished these three temples. I know this won't fetch votes. But I also know how to get votes. My friends said, don't demolish, you won't get votes. I said I have no other way. For them, we need to build another temple, that's all right? I said we will build beautiful, better, and a larger temple with a hall that can accommodate 100 or 200 people to dine. In several places, large mandapams were built. We demolished temples and built beautiful new temples. We convinced the faithful and completed this," Mr Baalu said.