Sekar Babu won against BJP Youth Wing state president Vinoj P Selvam in North Chennai’s Harbour Constituency, which has a large share of communities from Gujarat, Rajasthan etc, who have been living there for many generations.
Starting off his speech by lauding the food donation as the highest form of charity, he assured that their party (DMK) would take part in the charitable events of the community and support them, despite them not having voted for the Dravidian party.
“I have been living in this region for almost 40 years, today the situation has changed a lot and many North Indian friends have seen economic progress, this is because of Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu. The BJP is not the cause for your well-being, increased standard of living, or economic development, it is the Dravidian parties,” said the minister, adding that, despite all this, the North Indian Community has always been voting for the BJP out of some fascination.
It must be noted that the Dravidian parties- DMK and AIADMK, have been in power in Tamil Nadu since 1967, following the defeat of the then Congress government.
“Our DMK Member of Parliament Dayanidhi Maran asks why do we have to work for them (North Indians) when they don’t vote for us, to which I say, even they belong to this land. The MLAs and Chief Minister are common representatives, irrespective of whether some people voted for them or not. It is in that spirit that we are working for you,” Sekar Babu said.
He further goes on to say that the North Indian community vote bank did not cast their votes for the DMK in Assembly and Parliamentary polls that took place in the years 2014, 2016, 2019, and 2021. He claims that the DMK hardly got any votes in the region where North Indians lived in large numbers, despite the party having worked for the community.
In the 2021 Assembly polls, he said that in the areas where North Indians lived, DMK secured only 50 votes, whereas the BJP secured 300-350 votes. “Whenever we meet you, you say that you voted for us. But these are not ballot paper times, EVM data clearly points out which area voted for whom. You did not vote for the MLA and MP who worked for you, but how much ever you reject us, we won’t reject you. DMK is there to work for you,” he said.
Reacting to the DMK minister’s comments, the BJP said that such comments are blatant threats against BJP voters. The statement also condemned the manner in which DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran raised questions (as quoted by Sekar Babu) about serving people who didn’t vote for the DMK.
“Dayanidhi Maran must clarify whether he had spoken that way, it is the height of atrocity that a Member of Parliament has said something so narrow-minded and divisive,” the BJP said.
“It is highly condemnable that Ministers who take an oath by the Constitution and represent all the people chose to refer to a section of their constituency as North Indians. By pointing out the voter’s choice of preferring the BJP, is like questioning the voters’ democratic right and a blatant threat from those in power,” read the statement from BJP Spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathy.
Meanwhile, the BJP demanded an apology from Sekar Babu and requested Chief Minister MK Stalin to condemn the minister’s remarks.