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  4. OPINION | DMK MP’s ‘GOMUTRA STATES’ REMARK IS CONDEMNABLE

OPINION | DMK MP’s ‘GOMUTRA STATES’ REMARK IS CONDEMNABLE

Parties win and lose in elections, but to describe the states where BJP won as “Gomutra states” reveals a sickening mindset. Parties win and lose, but it is a dangerous tendency if somebody tries to create a North-South divide.

Rajat Sharma Written By: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Updated on: December 07, 2023 6:10 IST
India Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma
Image Source : INDIA TV India Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma

On a day when the ruling BJP was busy trying to select its chief ministers for the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the opposition appeared to be unable to digest its defeat. While Congress leaders in MP blamed EVM irregularities for the defeat, a DMK MP made a derogatory and disparaging remark about the voters of these three Hindi-speaking states.  Dr DNV Senthilkumar S. while taking part in a debate inside the House, said, “The people of this country must know that BJP’s only strength is how to win elections, and that too in Hindi belt states, which we call ‘Gomutra states’. They cannot win in the South. Look at the results in all southern states, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Karnataka, where we are strong. I will not be surprised if they convert all these states into union territories and rule them from behind the curtain. Because they cannot even dream of gaining a foothold in the South and control these states.” The ‘Gomutra states’ remark was later removed from the proceedings by the Speaker. 

In the evening, Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin pulled up his MP and told him to issue an apology. Dr Senthilkumar wrote on X, “Commenting on the results of the five recent state assembly elections, I have used a word in an inappropriate way. Not using that term with any intent, I apologize for sending the wrong meaning across.”  Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury distanced his party from the DMK MP’s remark and said, “ we all respect ‘gau mata’ as the mother. What has been said is a remark by an individual and we have nothing to do with what he said.” Former Congress MP Milind Deora described the remark as ‘unfortunate’ while Congress MP Karthi Chidambaram asked Dr Senthilkumar to withdraw his “insulting and unparliamentary” remark.  The DMK MP was questioning the mandate given by the voters in the three states of MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. MDMK leader Vaiko said, he “ agreed 100 per cent with what Senthilkumar said”. Samajwadi Party MP S T Hassan also supported the DMK MP’s remark and said, “this is the true identity of BJP, they get votes because of Hindutva, which includes respecting Gomutra”. 

After BJP leaders and ministers lashed out at the DMK over this remark, the Congress started damage control by evening. Congress leaders know that BJP had made DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark on ‘Sanatan’ an issue during the elections and it had an impact on the result. Dr Senthilkumar said, he had made similar remarks about Hindi cow-belt states inside the House earlier too and they are part of proceedings. In a nation where Gau Mata is revered and worshipped as Mother, the sentiments of millions of Hindus are linked with it. Any insulting remark about Gau Mata is shameful and condemnable. Parties win and lose in elections, but to describe the states where BJP won as “Gomutra states” reveals a sickening mindset. Parties win and lose, but it is a dangerous tendency if somebody tries to create a North-South divide. If DMK leaders feel that that they will gain advantage by insulting Sanatan or making fun of Gau Mata in a nation which worships Gita and Gayatri, they are mistaken. There are thousands of Hindu temples in South India, and there are millions of people in the South who have faith in Sanatan religion. Even in those states, Gau Mata is revered. I would rather say that the rituals of worship that are performed in the temples of South India are better compared to those in the North. Such remarks laced with venom can only prove counter-productive. It is good that Congress leaders reacted in time and distanced themselves from the DMK MP remark.

 
CONGRESS ALLEGES EVM TAMPERING
 
On Tuesday, Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh alleged anomalies in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in MP. After a review meeting with his candidates in Bhopal, Kamal Nath alleged that at least 100 EVMs were found charged up to 99 per cent at the time of counting. Kamal Nath questioned, “how can the machines be charged 99 per cent, if they have been used for voting for 10 hours?” He alleged that most of the votes in these 100 EVMs went to BJP. Kamal Nath also said, even our party candidates did not get even 50 votes in their own villages. “How is this possible?”, he asked. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, “nobody can say where the vote went after the EVM button is pressed. 

On VVPAT, it shows for only seven seconds.  The machine in which the chip is installed can be hacked.” Kamal Nath went to the extent of saying that both the exit polls and actual results were “fixed”. Another Congress leader Phool Singh Baraiya alleged that “BJP worked smartly, with a strategy. They did not tamper with all EVMs. They allowed the opposition win in some seats, and allowed Congress to win in Telangana, so that nobody can question EVM.” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate  said, Congress got 10 lakh more votes than BJP.  MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “if the EVMs were tampered, how did the Congress, including Kamal Nath, won all seven seats in Chhindwara?” The statement by Digvijaya Singh that after pushing the EVM button, the vote went to BJP, shows his frustration. Shivraj Singh Chouhan has raised the right question about how Congress won in Chhindwara. Can anyone say that the Congress won Telangana  through rigging? In May this year, the Congress won in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh polls? Was it due to EVM rigging? It is the old habit of leaders like Digvijaya Singh of not admitting defeat. 

Unless the Congress sincerely carries out self-introspection on its defeat, it will never understand why the people in the three states did not vote for Congress. Congress leaders should ponder why the common voter did not trust their ‘guarantees’ (promises), and instead reposed their trust in “Modi Ki Guarantee”. If Congress leaders refuse to realize this, they can lose in forthcoming elections too, and the party’s base will dwindle further.

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