In a video tweeted by Dharmapuri MP S. Senthilkumar on Saturday, he was seen asking Water Resources Department (WRD) officials about the invitation of a Hindu priest to perform a groundbreaking puja to start renovations. in a lake in the district.
In the video, Mr Senthilkumar asked about the protocols under which they invited the Hindu priest to lead the puja during a government function and why they did not invite priests from churches, imams from mosques and people who did not believe in God.
When the officials replied that the puja was customary even during the functions of the ministers, Mr. Senthilkumar asked if the puja was performed for the office of the chief minister. It was a Dravidian model government and it was a government for all. If officials wanted to hold a puja, they would have to invite everyone, he said.
Following the argument of the deputy, the officials asked the priest to stop the puja and the priest left the place. After that, the deputy started the renovation work.
Mr Senthilkumar said The Hindu the incident happened at Alapuram village. The lake would be renovated under Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana’s programme. The Department had therefore invited him to the reception. “When we talk about Dravidian principles, how could we allow this? I have demanded an explanation from the executive engineer of WRD,” the MP said.
Asked about DMK ministers and MPs attending similar puja functions, Mr. Senthilkumar said, “In the past, I would leave the office of a minister while these types of puja were taking place. I just want to ask, if former Chief Minister Karunanidhi is alive, will Ministers and MPs attend functions like this. So this is just a start and it should spark a debate. So I tweeted the video. I have nothing to lose. Although we have a principle, we have to follow it,” Mr. Senthilkumar added.