Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai on Wednesday said no group could claim that the party belongs only to them, and warned of stringent action against anyone violating the ‘Lakshman rekha’ in terms of party discipline.
To a question from the media on the suspension of the State BJP’s Other States and Overseas Tamil Development wing president Gayathri Raguramm on Tuesday, Mr. Annamalai said: “No one could claim that the party belongs only to them, and others won’t be allowed. If someone thinks they can control the party with an iron grip, I will not allow that during my tenure,” he said, adding that the “weeding out” exercise in the party would continue.
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On Ms. Raguramm’s allegation that those who had worked for the party for many years had been sidelined for newcomers, he drew a parallel with a bus journey and said a few people, who were being a hurdle to the party’s development, had to be deboarded to give an opportunity to newcomers, who may be more talented.
Arguing that new entrants were needed to grow the party, he said just a small group of people who were already in tune with each other would not help increase the party’s vote share in the State to 30% or more.
On the allegation against Other Backward Classes wing general secretary Suriya Shiva that he verbally abused and threatened Minority wing president Daisy Saran, he said he had asked the inquiry committee to expedite the investigation. “Based on the committee’s findings, action will be taken,” he added.
He said the party was treating the incident sternly, without giving room for the excuse that it was a private phone call. An inquiry was launched on Tuesday after the audio of the call was leaked. Ms. Saran said she had complained to the party leadership a few days ago, soon after the conversation took place.
Pointing out that Mr. Shiva was also a new entrant, Mr. Annamalai said certain risks had to be taken while admitting newcomers. “Some may commit mistakes, for which necessary action will be taken,” he said.