Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai issued a challenge to Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday (May 12), urging him to file a defamation case against him for releasing the “PTR audio tapes”.
A day after Chief Minister M K Stalin effected a Cabinet reshuffle, Annamalai demanded to know the reason behind shifting Palanivel Thiaga Rajan (PTR) from Finance to Information technology department.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, he said Stalin himself had praised PTR more than once for his work in Finance department. PTR had been the brand ambassador for the DMK’s Dravidian model government across the country and shunting him out of the department in the wake of the leak of audio clips was “unacceptable.”
In order to “propagate” dynasty, TRB Rajaa (Industries Minister and son of senior DMK leader T R Baalu) has been inducted into the Council of Ministers, he alleged.
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Two audio clips were released recently by Annamalai. It was purported to be a conversation between Rajan and another person in which PTR had allegedly made remarks about the assets of DMKs first family. PTR had dismissed such claims and rejected the clips as “malicious and fabricated,” and insisted they were digitally altered.
Rajan “did not commit any wrongs,” the BJP leader said and alleged “wrongs” were committed by the DMK first family, about persons who had “committed wrongs.”
Pointing to the state government filing a criminal defamation case against him in a court here on May 10 for levelling corruption allegation against Stalin, Annamalai requested the chief minister to file a similar case against him for leaking “PTR audio tapes.”
Citing the submission made by the government in court that his allegation had caused harm to CMs reputation, Annamalai said the argument holds good for the allegations made in audio tapes as well. “I am challenging the chief minister,” he said and urged Stalin to file a defamation case against him on the audio tapes issue.
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Annamalai said he would surrender the audio tapes to court, which should be examined and sent for forensics analysis. The tapes have a recording of over an hour of conversation, he claimed.
“There should be a court ordered independent inquiry and action. I am ready to submit in court the full audio tapes. There are more in the tapes. The reason for I am not releasing the part 3 and 4 of audio tapes is out of the fear that PTR should not be made a scapegoat (by the DMK)…I will prove in court that the tapes are genuine.”
On April 14, 2023, Annamalai released “DMK Files.” Referring to the DMK rule between 2006 and 2011, he had alleged that payments were received by the party as kickbacks from a company that won a bid related to the execution of Chennai Metro Rail Phase I project.
The BJP leader alleged “kickbacks of Rs 200 crore” had been channelled by a multinational company through two shell firms to “Chief Minister M K Stalin for DMKs 2011 election fund”.
On the defamation case filed by the government days ago following his allegation, Annamalai said a complaint has already been filed with the CBI seeking action. He would prove in the court that Stalin has no locus standi on the matter, he claimed.
Answering a question, the BJP state chief said he would release the “DMK Files,” part 2 and 3 in July first week.