During a discussion in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday (12 January), regarding a resolution to implement the Sethusamudram Project, Naagaimaali VP, a Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) MLA from Kilvelur, said that Lord Rama is an imaginary character.
This statement was seen as similar to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's affidavit in the Supreme Court. The affidavit was widely condemned then.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) floor leader in the Assembly, Nainar Nagendran, said that the remark was unnecessary and highly condemnable because Lord Rama was worshipped as God. He asked for the remarks to be expunged.
Interjecting while Nagendran was raising his objection, the Assembly Speaker M Appavu ( who once courted controversy for claiming Tamil Nadu would have turned into Bihar, had it not been for evangelical missionaries) appeared to defend the CPI(M) MLA's remarks by suggesting that he was quoting from works of scholars.
Here is a short clip of Appavu's interjection.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MLA, Pollachi V Jayaraman, also objected to the remarks. He said, “The remark that he is an imaginary character is an affront to 100 crore Hindus worldwide. He is an ‘avatara purusha’ [incarnation of God].”
Chief Minister MK Stalin said nobody was criticising God and faith, but only questioning the attempt, in the name of God, to stymie the project.
While the resolution was passed unanimously, Nagendran said that the BJP would support the project if it was done without affecting the Ram Setu.
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