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Jaya claims Aiyar abuse

Chennai, Oct. 16: Jayalalithaa has accused Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar of “exaggerating” what occurred at Monday’s government function at Nagapattinam. She has also slammed Opposition parties for trying to “blow up a minor incident”.

The Tamil Nadu chief minister denied Opposition allegations that ADMK volunteers had attacked the Congress MP after the Nagapattinam function. Instead, she said it was Aiyar who had “abused me in obscene language” after she finished her speech there.

“… Aiyar came up to me, and abused me in English in coarse, filthy and unprintable language. I do not want to repeat the words he used because no self-respecting lady would ever use such demeaning language,” Jayalalithaa said in a three-page statement released here last night.

Aiyar was set upon by alleged ADMK supporters at Kariakal, an enclave of Pondicherry, near the Tamil Nadu border after he left the function.

A 10-member gang waylaid his car, stoned it and attacked him — the MP’s clothes were torn in the scuffle.

Giving her version of what happened at Nagapattinam and raising doubts about the Kariakal incident, Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu Speaker Kalimuthu, who was “seated next to me, heard everything that… Aiyar said and the Speaker is a witness to what happened then”.

The chief minister wondered how Opposition leaders, including DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, could “endorse and approve” what Aiyar had written in an article (which appeared in The Telegraph on September 12, 2002). In his article, the Congress MP had said: “When Jayalalithaa became chief minister, she donated a baby elephant to the Guruvayur (Sri Krishna) temple. When I become CM (chief minister) I intend donating Jayalalithaa to the Guruvayur temple...”

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