Madurai: Former Union Shipping Minister and senior DMK leader TR Baalu on Saturday courted controversy by remarking that he would chop off the hand of anyone touching his party president, Chief Minister MK Stalin or Dravidar Kazhagam chief K Veeramani. He asserted that doing it is his dharma. The senior Parliamentarian who lashed out at the BJP-led government at the Center over the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project, cursed the BJP for “abruptly halting the project” akin to pulling the chain to stop the train midway.
Speaking at an event organized by the Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s ideological parent organization at Palanganatham, here, late Friday night, Baalu said, apparently referring to party president and Chief Minister Stalin and Veeramani, that he would not tolerate anyone touching his leader and the DK president.
“I will not hesitate to chop off the hand of anyone touching my leader (Stalin) or ayya (Veeramani). This is my dharma. If you feel this is not right, then you can go to court and say so. But by then , I would have done the deed,” Baalu said with a smirk.
Accusing the Central government of suddenly halting the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project midway, he said the Center failed to apply its scientific bent of mind or rational thinking while dealing with the project but merely toed religious lines.
“Was it not foolish to stop the project which would have now fetched about Rs 750 crore profit per annum. I say with great agony you will not fare well, you (the BJP) will not win the election this time,” Baalu cursed at the meeting which was attended among others by TNCC chief KS Alagiri and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thol Thirumavalavan.
Though none opposed the project, either during the public consultation or during the initial phase of implementation the Center cited the presence of Ram Setu and halted the project. “You had stopped the project when it was progressing fast, just like stopping a train by pulling the chain,” Baalu said.
Accusing the BJP government of suddenly reversing its decision, he said initially the Center asked the Shipping Ministry to expedite the project.
“A report suggested a fresh alignment through Adam’s bridge (Ram Setu) east of Pamban Island. Former Defense Minister George Fernandes had even said this project, apart from providing continuous navigable sea route, would also be a great asset to the national security as it will provide security on the periphery of the coast of India,” he claimed.