This Article is From Aug 22, 2020

Ahead Of Polls, Twitter War Between AIADMK, BJP Over "Potent Government"

BJP National Secretary H Raja's tacit Twitter jibe calling the Tamil Nadu government "impotent" triggered mudslinging between the BJP and the ruling AIADMK.

Ahead Of Polls, Twitter War Between AIADMK, BJP Over 'Potent Government'

BJP, AIADMK leaders made distasteful comments as Tamil Nadu banned public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi


Ties between Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and its ally, the BJP, have touched a new low after a sharp exchange of words on Twitter over the state government's ban on public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Earlier this week BJP National Secretary H Raja tweeted that the government in neighbouring BJP-led Karnataka was "potent" because it had allowed the festival to be celebrated in public spaces.

Many interpreted the comment as Mr Raja saying that the Tamil Nadu government was impotent. This led to a furious back-and-forth online between leaders from the two parties that fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls together.

"The AIADMK is a potent party and the AIADMK government is a potent government. Don't rub us the wrong way," D Jayakumar, a senior minister, tweeted in response.

Mr Jayakumar also took a swipe at Tamil Nadu BJP's social media convenor, CTR Nirmal Kumar, who said the AIADMK "hid behind a woman for 30 years" - a reference to the late J Jayalalithaa, the former party chief and four-term chief minister.

Mr Jayakumar also took a dig at Mr Raja over controversial social media comments on the judiciary; Mr Raja had initially blamed the comments on his Twitter "administrator" and later apologised to the Madras High Court.

With just nine months to go before Assembly elections in the southern state, many say there is a marked shift in the AIADMK's approach towards the BJP, even though it has, for the most part, followed the party line for the last four years.

Many feel there are signs the AIADMK wants to fight the 2021 polls on its own. 

Earlier Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami declared that the tying of a saffron-coloured cloth to a statue of MGR, a former chief minister and iconic political leader of the state, was "dishonouring" him.

A case was also registered against actor and BJP leader, S Ve Shekar, over comments that attributed religion to the national tricolour.

Mr Palaniswami had also bluntly rejected changes proposed by the centre under the new National Education Policy, particularly those that were seen by many as an attempt to impose the Hindi language in schools in the state.

Tamil Nadu has 3.67 lakh of India's 29.75 lakh coronavirus cases.