Tamil Nadu a secular state, Rath Yatra can't shake communal harmony: Rajinikanth

Stalin condemns VHP’s ‘Rath Yatra’ and the Govt’s permission for the same

Rath yatra may spark communal strife: MLAs

Amid protests from opposition parties, Tamil Nadu's AIADMK led government allowed the controversial "Ram Rajya Ratha Yatra" into the state on March 20.

DMK legislators raised slogans against the AIADMK government and were evicted from the Assembly en masse after they did not heed to repeated appeals of Speaker P Dhanapal to cooperate in running the House. The yatra entered Puliyarai in Tirunelveli and would pass through Shengottai, Ilangi, Tenkasi, Kadayanalloor, Puliyangudi, Vasudevanalloor, Sivagiri proceeding to Rameshwaram on 22 March via Rajapalayam and Madurai. He was quick to clarify that his comments on Rath Yatra, which is organised by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), is not driven by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Yatra was welcomed earlier by scores of people along the route.

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"A government can not be selective in its approach towards a particular religion and ban its activities", he said while responding to Opposition leader M.K. Stalin's demand for a ban during a calling-attention motion.

Speaking on the controversy of Rama Rajya Rath Yatra, he said, "Tamil Nadu is a secular state, I have full confidence that Police will maintain communal harmony". "You can not allow religious fanaticism in the soil where Periyar and Anna were born". The Yatra will end in Kanyakumari on March 25. He claimed that the yatra poses a similar threat to inter-religious harmony here, and urged the collector to deny permission for the yatra. The rath carries a replica of the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya and aims to build public support to build the structure. The yatra was flagged off at Ayodhya by VHP General Secretary Champat Rai on February 13.

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