To welcome their new party president, the saffron party in a show of strength, made massive arrangements in violation of Covid protocols to conduct a roadshow from Coimbatore to Chennai.

Former IPS officer Annamalai (37), who was appointed as the new president for Tamil Nadu BJP replacing L Murugan, Friday took charge at an event organised at Kamalalayam, the BJP’s headquarters in Chennai.

Addressing reporters, Annamalai said age is not a factor and added that he is going to lead the party together with the experience of other senior leaders to take it forward in the state. Slamming the DMK government, he claimed the ruling party has not fulfilled any poll promise even after 70 days of forming the government.

Annamalai also brushed aside Chief Minister MK Stalin’s claim that there is an imbalance in vaccine allocation to Tamil Nadu. Defending the Narendra Modi government, he said the Central government is not showing partiality in supplying the vaccines adding that they are confident that the Centre will allocate more supply to Tamil Nadu.

On Wednesday, Annamalai struck a controversy when he said that media in Tamil Nadu would be brought under control within six months. “Don’t worry about things, they are carrying false news about us. Within the next six months, you will see that we can bring media under our control, take them over. No media can keep pedalling fake news continuously. Former BJP state president L Murugan is the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, all the media comes under him. Media cannot continuously project false news, it cannot be used for politics,” he had said.

Annamalai’s remark had evoked strong criticism from the media fraternity as well as the ruling party. Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister Mano Thangaraj condemned Annamalai’s remark, terming it as an act threatening the media.

Reacting to Thangaraj’s remark, Annamalai clarified that he had spoken about the media ethics code which would act as a checkpoint to those who randomly share false news on social media, OTT, and others and that he never meant traditional media houses which have a system in place. He added that the BJP as a party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have great respect towards media, which is regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy.

Further, commenting on the ongoing NEET issue, Annamalai said that before NEET, only 19 people from rural villages in Tamil Nadu had gone to pursue medical courses but after NEET, as many as 430 students had gone last year. “This is the real social justice. This is the best example to show that the Central government is working towards the welfare of rural students. We don’t understand why the DMK is opposing it. No matter whatever committee they [DMK] form, we will reach every village and explain to them the benefits of NEET,” he said.

Commenting on the Mekedatu issue, Annamalai said Tamil Nadu BJP stands with the state government and firmly believes that the dam should not be constructed as it would affect the livelihood of farmers.

To welcome their new party president, the saffron party in a show of strength, made massive arrangements to conduct a roadshow from Coimbatore till he reached Chennai. Annamalai met party functionaries and attended several cadre celebrations.

Several senior BJP leaders including L Murugan, the Union Minister of the State for Information and Broadcasting, Fisheries, and Animal Husbandry, BJP legislative party leader Nainar Nagendran, former MPs CP Radhakrishnan, Pon Radhakrishnan, and others such as H Raja, L Ganesan took part in the event.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has not granted permission for any gathering including political events. However, the BJP cadre flocked the areas in large numbers violating all norms.

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