Coimbatore: BJP in Tamil Nadu on Friday hit back at DMK and other parties for taking exception to the remarks of it and actor Rajinikanth that anti-socials 'infiltrated' the protest against the Sterlite unit, saying the opposition was only degrading the locals.
The violence during the protest and the police firing, which claimed 13 lives, were unfortunate. But some people were not able to bear with the remarks of other people on the issue, state BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan told reporters.
The struggle for the closure of the Sterlite's copper plant had been held since 1996. The latest agitation was peaceful for 99 days and the violence occurred on the 100th day, owing to the anti-social elements, she said referring to the May 22 and 23 incidents.
By questioning the theory of infiltration of anti-social elements, "You (opposition parties) are degrading the people of Tuticorin by saying they had indulged in stone throwing and torching vehicles at the collectorate," she said.
Rajinikanth, who two days ago visited the injured in the Tuticorin violence, had said anti-social elements infiltrated the protest and also voiced his concern over too many agitations, drawing flak from DMK, Congress and others.
Criticising Rajinikanth, DMK working president M K Stalin on Thursday said there was a doubt if this was his voice as BJP had also been making such remarks.
"Whatever it is, he is a Superstar and himself has said anti-social elements had infiltrated the protesters. It would be good for the country if he could identify such persons," he had said.
Noting that BJP or Rajinikanth never said all the protesters were anti-social, Sounararajan sought to know why the opposition parties were getting agitated.
BJP respected the struggle by the people who have a right to do so, she said adding the party was only opposing the alleged infiltration of anti-socials and their attempt to divert the issue and take it to a dangerous stage.
The BJP leader criticised DMK working president M K Stalin for indulging in frequent walkouts and boycott of the assembly, saying such acts would have an adverse effect on the welfare of the people.
She accused the DMK and Congress and other opposition parties of trying to create problems in the state since the Cauvery and Sterlite issues had been resolved.