The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led Tamil Nadu’s ruling Secular Progressive Alliance is set to undertake protests on April 12 in front of the Raj Bhavan, Chennai, after governor RN Ravi said the May 2018 anti-Sterlite protests were funded by foreign interests that wanted to destabilise copper supply in the country.
“Take the case of Sterlite in Thoothukudi. It was purely foreign-funded…They [foreign interests] wanted Sterlite to be closed because it produced 40% of our copper needs. You know how copper is important for the electronic industry,” said Ravi.
This has given the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the state a leg up. Narayanan Tirupathi, BJP spokesperson, said, “We have been saying from Day 1 that anti-social and anti-national elements were involved. The AIADMK says the same too. Our question is, why is the DMK getting so anxious? I don’t understand, why should they get so tense about the governor’s speech. DMK has to answer this.”
The DMK has alleged that the governor is spreading wild conspiracy theories about the Sterlite protests. Party spokesperson A Saravanan said, ” Mr Ravi is exceeding his brief. He is speaking of wild conspiracy theories. If he has proof, he ought to inform legal authorities and lodge a complaint. He must not make baseless allegations. We all know what happened in the case of the Sterlite protests. Thirteen people lost their lives. Were they all anti-social elements?”
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and DMK continue to take opposite stances on the Sterlite issue. Kovai Satyan, AIADMK spokesperson, said, “It is very easy to pick and choose selective statements and words from the governor to suit their political narrative. The turn of events is such that in a democratic country, everybody has the right to protest… During the protest, the demonstrations went out of hand after anti-social elements barged in with the help of DMK and instigated violence. The DMK does not want people to know the facts.”
With inputs from News18