Political discourse stoops to new lows as polls near
In a new low in political rhetoric, Aranthangi MLA Rethinasabapathy, a supporter of TTV
Dhinakaran, threatened to “chop off” the hands of Speaker C Dhanabal and the AIADMK (All
India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) whip Rajendran.
Speaking at a public rally in Karaikudi, Sivaganga district on the occasion of Jayalalithaa’s birth
anniversary, the MLA said that the AIADMK whip had told him that he would be served notice
of dismissal. “They are asking us to issue notice to you. They want the Speaker also to issue
notice.” To which, Rethinasabapathy claims he responded – “The signature which you affix to
dismiss me will be your last signature. After that you both will not have hands to sign anything.”
Following this, the AIADMK lashed out at the Aranthangi MLA at a function in Srivilliputhur.
Milk and Dairy Development Minister KT Rajendra Balaji told reporters that the party was not
afraid of the TTV Dhinakaran camp. “Speaker Dhanabal is a braveheart who has upheld the
dignity of our party. Just because he belongs to an oppressed community, do they think we will
be afraid if they say they will chop off his hands? No one is afraid in the AIADMK. How many
hands will you cut off? How long will it take for us to chop hands?”
Personal attacks are not new to Tamil Nadu’s politicians. Late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa once
referred to the ageing and wheelchair-bound DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) chief M
Karunanidhi as a “sack”.
In 1989, Jayalalithaa alleged that DMK leader Duraimurugan had pulled her saree during clashes
inside the Assembly. Duraimurugan has maintained that the allegation was false.
In the past, a number of video clips of political leaders being intimate with women other than
their wives have been put out on social media by their rivals.