Annamalai dismisses Gayathri’s allegation of women feeling unsafe in T.N. BJP as ‘her opinion’

Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party president K. Annamalai on Wednesday dismissed the allegation levelled by Gayathri Raguramm, who quit the party on Tuesday, that women were unsafe in the party’s State unit and said it was “her opinion”.

Addressing the media here, he said he had no regrets when someone left the party and the party had “crores of women members” and more were joining. He, however, refused to respond to specific allegation Ms. Raguramm levelled against him

“Who has not levelled allegations against me?” he asked, and went on to name a few Tamil media outlets, which, he said, were regularly criticising him. He included Ms. Raguramm’s allegation in the same category.

According to him, his response is “silence” whenever a publication said anything [negatively] about him. “People are watching. They will decide. The same applies to the opinions of those who left the party.”

When asked about the criticisms made by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy regarding his leadership, he said some leaders like Mr. Swamy thought that they owned the party. Such leaders expected him to “fall at their feet” to get their “certificate,” but he would not do that.

BJP state president K Annamalai on Wednesday lost his cool at a press conference, and said reporters of certain organisations are “agenda-driven”. He also accused the state Information and Public Relations department of intimidating media over carrying news using the ‘advertisement budget’ as a tool.

Though Annamalai started calmly, he turned red when scribes posed questions about Gayathri Raghuram’s remarks against him while quitting the party. He asked the name of the news organisation they represent. “People should know who these agenda-driven journalists are,” he said.

When a scribe asked about the charges on the ‘honey trap’ and the tapping of telephone calls and lack of internal democracy made by Gayathri Raghuram, Annamalai said all the allegations were made by just one person and asked: “Did you raise question to CM or his office or to any other minister about DMK partymen misbehaving with a woman police constable? You have an agenda, and agenda-based journalism is a big problem today.”

At one point, Annamalai said the state DIPR is paying huge sum to certain media contrary to their circulation. Those who have posed the highest number of questions here would have received the highest amount.

When a scribe asked for evidence, he said, “As a journalist, you should work to get that.” When asked about the audio and video clips regarding BJP functionaries, Annamalai said, “There was a sex tape linking a minister.

It was there in the media for two days, and it disappeared after DIPR intervention. I will re-release it, and will you telecast it now? You bring so many questions to me. Do you have the guts to pose similar questions to DMK leaders? You seem to be gathering extra courage when you enter Kamalalayam.”

Similarly, he criticised DMK’s R.K. Nagar MLA J.J. Ebenezer for letting a conservancy worker clean a clog in the drain with bare hands in his presence. He demanded that the MLA be booked under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

He blamed the State government for failing to provide necessary attention at the highest level in the ongoing issue of caste discrimination and untouchability in Pudukkottai district.

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