Chennai: A day after his controversial comments on Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam (OPS) went viral on the social media, RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy said his comments were not meant to disrespect Panneerselvam.
“When I spoke to OPS, I was not talking to him in any disrespectful way. I only talked to him saying why the AIADMK people are prostrating to Sasikala with no courage. OPS knows what I meant and he is the one who retrieved the AIADMK from Sasikala and that is why I have so much respect for him,” he Gurumurthy said in a tweet on Monday.
He said he made this statement to rebut journalist Rangaraj Pandey at the golden jubilee celebrations of Thuglak magazine in Trichy district after the latter said Thuglak's opposition to Sasikala was not right because J Jayalalithaa herself had accepted Sasikala.
“Without seeing what I said before and after, it is not right to spread an edited version of what I said in between. Let me repeat, I don’t know many in the AIADMK. Among the ones I know, I have huge respect for OPS. This leaving aside, the differences,” he said.
Gurumurthy’s taunt, ‘How can you call yourself a man?’ directed at OPS over political chaos after Jayalalithaa’s death, did not go down well with the ruling AIADMK.
In the video that went viral, Gurumurthy said: “Preparations were underway to announce Sasikala as the chief minister. OPS was deputed to take care of hall arrangements and to make sure the venue was clean. It was at that time that he came to me. I can’t tell openly the way our conversation took place but I asked him, ‘why do you call yourself a man?’ He then asked me what could be done. I told him to go and sit at the samadhi (Jayalalithaa’s memorial) and that he will find a way."
Fisheries minister D Jayakumar said, “Gurumurthy’s statement reeks of arrogance. He should not have commented in this manner. A person should exercise restraint while speaking at a public forum. He had criticised the AIADMK earlier as well.”