DMK slams Nirmala Sitharaman for remark on Jayalalithaa, AIADMK says attack happened

Tamil Nadu's ruling party DMK has hit out at Nirmala Sitharaman for her reference to an incident of 1989 when AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa’s saree was pulled in the Tamil Nadu Assembly during her recent speech in Lok Sabha.

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Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha
Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday spoke during the debate on the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha. (Screengrab/ Sansad TV)

Days after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman invoked a 1989 incident involving former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, in Parliament during the no-confidence motion debate, Tamil Nadu's ruling party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), hit out at Nirmala Sitharaman for her comments.

Speaking to India Today, DMK MP Trichy Siva rejected the claims of Sitharaman and said that it was rehearsed and staged.


"Nirmala Sitharaman was abroad till 1991. She is talking based on hearsay. If you want to know about the truth, Congress MP S Thirunavukkarasar was with J Jayalalithaa then and has given a statement that it was already rehearsed and enacted," Siva told India Today.

"You can also ask KKSSR Ramachandran (present DMK minister) who was with J Jayalalithaa then instead of Nirmala Sitharaman or anyone who was not present during the incident. We have also made it clear that these are allegations levelled as they are not able to face us ideologically," Trichy Siva added in his remarks.

Earlier, on August 10, while responding to DMK leader Kanimozhi's speech in which she drew parallels between Manipur atrocities and the incident of Droupadi’s saree being pulled in Kaurava court ( an incident in Hindu epic Mahabharata), Nirmala Sitharaman said, "I agree she (Kanimozhi) has got the concern. Women suffering anywhere, be it Manipur, Delhi, Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh, will have to be taken seriously and no politics should be played on it."

In her speech, Nirmala Sitharaman also recounted the incident that took place on March 25, 1989, when Jayalalithaa’s saree was pulled in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

“I want to remind the house (Lok Sabha) about one incident which happened on 25th March 1989 in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. Then she (Jayalalithaa) had not become the Chief Minister, but she was a Leader of the Opposition. Jayalalithaa's saree was pulled in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. She was a Leader of Opposition and the DMK members who were seated there, heckled her and laughed at her." Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Hitting out at the DMK, which is part of the Opposition bloc INDIA, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "You are talking about Kaurava Sabha, you are talking about Droupadi. Has DMK forgotten Jayalalithaa? You pulled her saree, you demeaned her.”

Later, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin also reacted to the speech of the Union Minister and said that she must have spoken by reading from "WhatsApp history".

Stalin, in an interview to a daily, refuted the finance minister's allegations, saying "everyone present in the Assembly knew it was a drama enacted by herself," referring to the late Jayalalithaa.

A DMK release quoted Stalin from the interview as saying that "Sitharaman will say something based on a Whatsapp history."


However, AIADMK general secretary and opposition leader Edappadi K Palaniswami stated that he was present in the Tamil Nadu assembly when the incident occurred and that it was an incumbent DMK Minister who pulled Jayalalithaa’s saree.

“I say this as I was present in the Tamil Nadu assembly when the incident occurred. This happened in front of then CM Karunanidhi. DMK Ministers and MLAs brutally attacked Jayalalithaa. Thirunavukarasu and KKSSR Ramachandran tried to block them, but a present senior minister pulled Jayalalithaa’s saree and a few ministers and MLAs pulled her hair. It was a brutal incident that happened inside the assembly," Edappadi K Palaniswami told India Today.

Edited By:
Sudeep Lavania
Published On:
Aug 13, 2023