Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, the first time the DMK and the BJP came at loggerheads over the former’s much-documented rant against Sanatan Dharma.
Prime Minister Modi, earlier, shared the stage with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK supremo, MK Stalin, during a public event in the state during his recent two-day visit to the South.
During the meeting with PM Modi on Thursday, Udhayanidhi, who happens to be the state minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, sought the immediate release of additional central funds for relief, restoration and rehabilitation work in the flood-battered districts of Tamil Nadu.
Sharing the dais with PM Modi earlier, Chief Minister MK Stalin also urged him to declare the Tamil Nadu floods as a national disaster and commit to sending more funds for relief and rehabilitation.
The Tamil Nadu Minister invited PM Modi for the opening ceremony of the ‘Khelo India Youth Games’, which is to be hosted in Chennai from January 19, this year.
“Glad to have invited Indian Prime Minister, Thiru Narendra Modi in New Delhi today for the Opening Ceremony of the Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Chennai on January 19, 2024,” Udhayanidhi Stalin posted from his official handle on X.
“On behalf of the Tamil Nadu Government, I requested the Prime Minister for the immediate release of the National Disaster Relief Fund to undertake comprehensive relief, restoration and rehabilitation works in flood-affected districts of TN as requested by our Chief Minister MK Stalin. The Prime Minister assured us that he would take the necessary steps,” he added in his post.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu minister launched an explosive rant against Sanatan Dharma, equating it with ‘dengue, malaria, fever and corona’ and calling for it to be ‘eliminated’ and not, merely, ‘opposed’.
“I thank the organisers of this conference for giving me the opportunity to deliver a special address. You have kept the name of the conference as ‘Sanatana Abolition Conference’ rather than ‘Anti-Sanatana Conference’, I appreciate that,” Udhayanidhi said earlier, adding, “Few things cannot be opposed, that should be abolished only. We can’t oppose Dengue, Mosquitoes, Malaria, or Corona, we have to eradicate this that’s how we have to eradicate Sanatana. Rather opposing Sanatana it should be eradicated.”
The remark stoked a massive furore, drawing outrage from BJP leaders as well as saffron ideologues and seers. The issue also became a big talking point ahead of the assembly elections to five states last year.
Meanwhile, during his meeting with PM Modi, Stalin Junior presented a coffee-table book to the latter on the successful conduct of the CM Trophy Games 2023 and the Asian Men’s Hockey Championship by Tamil Nadu.
“Also discussed various subjects of public importance to Tamil Nadu particularly the multi-faceted development of sports in Tamil Nadu with the PM. During the meeting, I also presented to the PM a coffee table book showcasing the successful conduct of the CM Trophy Games 2023 and the Asian Men’s Hockey Championship hosted by Tamil Nadu,” the state minister said.
“Khelo India Youth Games 2023 would be another promising opportunity to demonstrate Tamil Nadu’s enviable organising capability and illustrious history in the field of sports,” he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)