Indicating that Tamil Nadu will soon follow Maharashtra in witnessing a regime change, state Bharatiya Janata Party chief K Annamalai has claimed "an Eknath Shinde will emerge in" the state, comments that were dismissed outright by the ruling party.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam senior leader and party's organising secretary R S Bharathi described Annamalai's comments as "insignificant" and said "the party is not taking him seriously."
Drawing an analogy between the political conditions in the two states, Annamalai said the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's eldest son Bindumadhav's venture into films has resemblance to former TN CM M Karunanidhi's first son Mu Ka Muthu. "Both wanted to act in films but the films didn't do well," Annamalai claimed.
Similarly, Thackeray's second son Jayadev is away from the family and so too is Karunanidhi's second son M K Alagiri, he stated.
His third son Uddhav Thackeray got an opportunity to become CM of Maharashtra and likewise M K Stalin became the chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Annamalai said while addressing a BJP protest rally in the city on Tuesday.
Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya has political ambitions and so does Stalin's son Udayanidhi.
"Both are youth wing leaders of their respective parties. Tamil Nadu is gearing up for a cabinet shuffle. An Eknath Shinde will emerge here too," the BJP president claimed, apparently referring to the Sena leader's rebellion against Uddhav Thackeray recently that led to a change of guard in Maharashtra.
Annamalai further said that two-and-a-half years ago, three parties joined hands to form a coalition in Maharashtra like the DMK formed an alliance with the Congress and left parties in Tamil Nadu. "Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress joined hands in Maharashtra and the BJP, which had 105 MLAs, was pushed back and Sena with 57 legislators formed the government," he said.
"Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tortured as many BJP supporters as possible. Then Eknath Shinde came with 12 MLAs. He went to Surat. This is Rajadharma. When it has to happen, it will happen. It happened in Maharashtra and you will see it happen in Tamil Nadu, as well," Annamalai told the massive gathering.
The DMK, however, made light of the saffron party leader's comments, while underscoring that any rebellion was not possible in the ranks of the party.
"He (Annamalai) has been uttering all nonsense of late. As far as I am concerned I am not taking him seriously," Bharathi, a former MP, told PTI on Wednesday.
Another senior leader and a sitting MLA said "no chance for it happen," when asked to comment on Annamalai's statement on an Eknath Shinde emerging in TN, saying the state was comfortable with the "dynamic leadership" of chief minister and DMK president Stalin.