‘PM Is Inciting Hatred,’ Stalin On Modi’s ‘Treasury’ Remarks In Odisha

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the missing keys of Lord Jagannath’s treasury in Odisha had gone to Tamil Nadu, the southern state’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) president MK Stalin on Tuesday alleged that the PM was inciting hatred.

Stalin said that the PM’s remarks were aimed at maligning the image of the Tamils for the sake of votes. “The Prime Minister should stop defaming Tamil Nadu and Tamils for votes,” Stalin said in a statement released by the DMK. On Monday, Modi attacked the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Odisha saying that even the temple of Lord Jagannath in Puri is not safe in the hands of this government and added that the Ratna Bhandar key has gone to Tamil Nadu.

Stalin said that Modi was “creating a feeling of enmity between people of the two states”. “Isn’t this a speech that incites the people of Odisha against the people of Tamil Nadu, who have unlimited devotion to Jagannath?” Stalin said. “It is not good for the country that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who should set an example in his campaigns by presenting constructive criticism on the policy, principles, action plans and the achievements of his government without violating codes of election campaigning, is inciting enmity among people and enmity between states through hate speeches.”

Stalin also said that people would understand Modi’s duplicity because while campaigning in Tamil Nadu, he praised the Tamil language, Tamilians but he spoke ill of Tamils while campaigning in states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

“It amounts to insulting Lord Jagannath, revered by crores of people, besides insulting and hurting the people of Tamil Nadu who have good relations and friendship with the state of Odisha,” said Stalin. “Can PM Modi disparage the people of Tamil Nadu as thieves stealing the treasure of a temple…doesn’t it amount to insulting Tamil Nadu? Why such dislike and hatred for Tamils?”

Rebutting Stalin’s statement, Tamil Nadu’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president K Annamalai said that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is promoting an “outsider”– VK Pandian, a Tamilian without respecting the people of Odisha and its culture.

“VK Pandian has been the CM’s secretary for 12 years. So, now where did the keys go? We have promised that if the BJP comes to power in Odisha, the keys will be retrieved and Lord Jagannath’s respect will be restored,” Annamalai said.

“Technically the CM of Odisha is VK Pandian. CM MK Stalin must know what is happening in India beyond his room. Will DMK announce a person who joins them from another state who is close to the CM as the CM candidate of Tamil Nadu? We talk about being the son of the soil in TN. Does it not apply in Odisha? How can it be wrong if the PM addresses this issue in Odisha?” he added.

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