In the backdrop of the apparent cordial relations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin during his visit to Chennai on Saturday, an undercurrent of animosity was evident in the posters that emerged in some parts of the city which targeted state Governor RN Ravi.
Posters with strongly critical statements about the governor, including “#GetOutRavi” and “#DictatorRavi” were seen in Chennai at various key locations, including Teynampet, where the DMK headquarters is situated.
Governor Ravi has made several sharp and controversial statements that have repeatedly irked the DMK government. Following a display of hostility in the state legislature over differences in the Governor’s address, the relations between the Governor and the state government turned frosty again this week.
The Governor’s recent remark at an event, where he suggested that the anti-Sterlite protests in May 2018 were motivated by foreign interests, led to a further deterioration in the relations.
Chief Minister Stalin and Sports Minister Uday Stalin reacted strongly to the remarks. Uday Stalin took to Twitter to express his ‘strong condemnation’ of the Governor’s observation about the violent protests.
The Governor portrayed the Sterlite protests as if they were aimed at disrupting the national copper supply. Senior executives of Vedanta-owned Sterlite Copper had also stated in interviews after the violent clash that there were external forces guiding the demonstrations in Thoothukudi, a city in southern Tamil Nadu.
The larger question at hand is how the DMK is positioning its political messaging vis-a-vis the BJP, while managing protocol and observing formalities as a state Government. The sharp animosity towards the Governor for his controversial speeches and the display of that standoff during the Prime Minister’s visit clearly shows the DMK stands which is opposed to anything associated with the BJP.
In the coming months, as talks on alliance equations open up for the 2024 Parliamentary elections, these political events will play a larger role as the DMK stitches together its narrative for the voters ahead of the polls.
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