Updated June 4th, 2024 at 07:18 IST

Exclusive/ NDA Getting Double Digits in Tamil Nadu, K Annamalai Tells Arnab | Exclusive

Tamil Nadu will give a wonderful result on June 4, and it will be in double digits, Annamalai told Arnab.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Edited by: Kriti Dhingra
Tamil Nadu will give a wonderful result on June 4, and it will be in double digits, Annamalai told Arnab. | Image:Republic Digital
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New Delhi: Hours after Congress leader Sam Pitroda tendered his resignation as the Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress following his controversial remarks that sparked a huge row, while inviting rebuke and condemnation from across the states and union territories of the country, Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai while speaking in an exclusive conversation with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Super Primetime Max Wednesday expressed deep shock over Pitroda's remarks as he asserted that "it showed us the Congress's ‘Idea of India’.

“We all saw that with shock, it was the Congress party's actual ‘Idea of India that came out today”, Annamalai told Arnab.

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The BJP leader spoke on an array of topics including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s poll prospects in the South, the so-called idea of a ‘North-South Divide’, the Congress party's ‘Idea of India’ and the furore over Pitroda's recent remarks.

'Sam Pitroda's Remarks Horrifying’

Underlining that Pitroda's remarks “very clearly attributed” that citizens living in different parts of India are “descendants” of the Chinese, the Africans and the Arabs, the BJP star campaigner said it was “horrifying”. 

Annamalai's remarks come after Pitroda made some “racist” comments on a podcast, insinuating that Indians from different parts of the country appeared to be Chinese, Arabs, Whites and Africans.

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“Such a senior person of the party – who is deep into their think tank – saying something like this only compels us to believe that perhaps this is the true ideology of the Congress”, Annamalai said, adding, “It is very shocking to see that a national party like the Congress having an Idea of India which is so different from all of us”.

‘Tamil Nadu Will Give Wonderful Result on June 4'

Further during the conversation, the BJP leader exuded confidence over the saffron party registering a spectacular victory in the Lok Sabha Election 2024.

Responding to a question on the BJP-led NDA's poll prospects in the southern state, Annamalai beamed, saying, "Tamil Nadu will give a wonderful result on June 4", while claiming that it will be "in double digits".

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"It's a very strong alliance [that we have forged] in the state this time, a sitting MP is also contesting on the BJP ticket…Tamil Nadu will give a wonderful result on June 4, and it will be in double digits", he said.

Indira Gandhi ‘Misused Article 356’ of Constitution

Responding to a question on the idea of so-called 'North-South Divide' propagated by some opposition leaders, the BJP leader evoked a past reference from the time when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had "misused Article 356" of the constitution, several times so as to ensure that any potential threat(s) to the Gandhi family's dynasty-style politics were curtailed.

"The moment they felt that in some state or region there is a leader emerging who is more powerful and could [potentially] be challenging the Gandhi parivaar [family], they [Central government] started removing one chief minister after the other", he quipped.

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‘Cong’s Last Desperate Measure to Come back to Power’

Stressing that the Congress party felt they'll always remain at the Centre of the power, Annamalai told Arnab: “For every assembly election they lose, they start setting a new narrative… the worst part is that out of the last five assembly elections that happened, the outcome saw several Congress leaders, including the elected representatives from southern part of India, putting out hashtags suggesting that the South is different”.

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Asserting that today's Sam Pitroda is a “culmination of what the Congress was thinking for a long time”, the BJP leader underlined that it is a "very deep, well thought out remark", and probably the party's "last desperate measure to come back to power".

'We Are Beyond Our Skin Colour'

Stressing that skin tone isn't and cannot be a detriment to the ‘Bharatiyata' [the spirit of being Indian] of the people from South India, the BJP leader said, "We are beyond our skin colour".

"What we are really angry at is the connotation of his [Pitroda's] remarks…What they [the Congress] essentially means by such comments is that we are the descendants of some foreign culture, and that we're not Bharatiyas", he further clarified.

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The Congress leader's insinuation of Indians – as descendants who come from a foreign culture – “violates the very Idea of India”, he asserted.

Earlier during the day, Annamalai took to social media platform ‘X’, and said, "Dear Sam Pitroda, I am a Dark-skinned Bharatiya! as he completed his short and precise post with a befitting hashtag: #ProudBharatiya

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Pitroda's choice of words for describing how Indians looked like triggered a political slugfest with the BJP terming it “racist” and the Congress, on the other hand, distancing itself from his words very conveniently, while subtly calling his remarks "most unfortunate and unacceptable".

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The BJP dismissed the Congress party's disassociation with the controversial comments as it noted at a press conference that Pitroda has a history of making "insulting and demeaning" comments, including on terrorism and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

His "hua to hua" (so what) reaction to a question on the 1984 communal violence and "it happens all the time" reference to the Pulwama terror attack, both in 2019 as the country was gearing up for the general election, had also triggered massive rows.

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Earlier, during the poll campaign, Pitroda's reference to inheritance tax in the US as an "interesting law" while discussing the Congress's Lok Sabha poll manifesto had also caused huge row in the country over the party's deemed "redistribution of wealth" policy.  

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on ‘X’ that party chief Mallikarjun Kharge has accepted Pitroda's decision.

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"Mr Sam Pitroda has decided to step down as Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress of his own accord. The Congress President has accepted his decision," Ramesh said in his post on ‘X’.

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Published May 8th, 2024 at 21:48 IST