TN CM Palaniswami says minister sought tribal boy’s help to remove thorn

Minister triggered a controversy when he made a tribal boy remove his slippers during a function

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy. | File Photo: PTI

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday (February 8) defended Dindigul C Srinivasan and said the minister had asked the boy to remove a thorn piercing his leg, as he was unable to bend forward.

This comes a day after the Tamil Nadu Forest Minister expressed regret for making a tribal boy remove his slippers during a function.

Replying to a question on the controversy over the incident that took place at the inauguration of an elephant camp in Nilgiris district, Palaniswami told reporters that Srinivasan was not able to bend forward and hence sought the help of the boy, who was like his grandson.

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Though Srinivasan has apologised to the boy and his mother, the media was blowing the matter out of proportion, which was regretful,” he said.

The Minister had triggered a controversy when he came to inaugurate the elephant rejuvenation camp in Theppakkadu, in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, 40 kms from on Thursday.

Related news | Tribal boy made to remove AIADMK minister’s footwear, netizens irked

When he along with the district collector and other officials were proceeding to the camp, Srinivasan called the boy and asked him to remove his footwear so as to enter a temple there and perform pooja.

The boy readily obliged and removed the slippers in full public view, which led to an outrage. The clipping of the episode went viral. Palaniswami was on his way to Salem, where he would lay a foundation stone for Asia’s larger Integrated Livestock Park in Thalaivasal on Sunday evening.

On the TNPSC group 4 exam scam, the chief minister said it was an autonomous body and inquiry is going on into the issue following which action would be taken against the guilty.

When asked about the reported controversial remarks made by Minister Rajendra Balaji on ‘Hindu Terrorism’, Palaniswami said, “He has expressed his opinion and minister Jayakumar has already clarified that his opinion was not that of the party.”

To another query whether public exams for class 9 and 11 will be cancelled, Palaniswami said, “how can one gauge the merit of a student, if all the exams are cancelled.” “In that case, the students should stay in our state only.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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