Bharatanatyam artiste and medical practitioner Srinidhi Chidambaram hit out at Tamil Nadu BJP on Tuesday night after the party – as part of its campaign for next month’s election – tweeted a five-minute video of her dancing to ‘SemMozhi’ – a song written by the late former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, whose DMK is in opposition to the ruling BJP-AIADMK government in the state.
Titled “the lotus will bloom”, the BJP posted a music video of the song – in which Ms Chidambaram appears for two seconds – on Sunday. That tweet has now been deleted.
Ms Chidambaram, who is also the wife of Congress MP Karti Chidambaram and daughter-in-law of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, snapped back: “Ridiculous that the BJP (she tagged the opposition party’s central account) has used my image for their propaganda.”
For good measure she posted in Tamil too, saying: The lotus will never bloom in Tamil Nadu.”
Faux pas by Tamil Nadu BJP! 🙈
They have used a portion of Bharatanatyam performed by Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram in their election promo.
— Shilpa Nair (@NairShilpa1308) March 30, 2021
Ms Chidambaram’s team said the video was from a performance for an edition of the World Classical Tamil Conference that was held over a decade ago.
The Tamil Nadu BJP has blamed the ‘faux pas’ on a vendor who took the video from a government website. There was, however, no violation, Nirmal, a member of the party’s IT wing, told NDTV.
The Congress, meanwhile, has tweeted a reminder to the BJP – that they can not use photos or video clippings of Ms Chidambaram without permission.
“Dear Tamil Nadu BJP, we understand ‘consent’ is a difficult concept for you to understand but you cannot use Mrs Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram’s image without her permission. All you’ve done is prove that your campaign is full of lies and propaganda,” the party posted.
Dear @BJP4TamilNadu, we understand ‘consent’ is a difficult concept for you to understand, but you cannot use Mrs Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram’s image without her permission. All you’ve done is prove that your campaign is full of lies & propaganda. pic.twitter.com/CTYSK9S9Qw
— Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (@INCTamilNadu) March 30, 2021
The BJP has a negligible presence in Tamil Nadu, which is dominated by the DMK and AIADMK.
This year though, with the death of M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa, the party has sensed an opportunity, and forged an alliance with the AIADMK, which is seen to have a weak collective leadership under Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy, O Panneerselvam.
The AIADMK-BJP pairing, however, suffered embarrassment in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, losing 38 of 39 seats to the DMK-Congress opposition.
Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked DMK leader A Raja over his comments about the Chief Minister; remarks for which Mr Raja issued a qualified apology yesterday and, on Tuesday night, received a notice from the Election Commission.
Tamil Nadu votes in a single phase next month, with results due May 2.