Tamil Nadu BJP leader K Annamalai’s press conference Wednesday at the party headquarters in Chennai ended in chaos. Reports also said some of the journalists who had gathered at the meeting were heckled by BJP functionaries.
Annamalai, while responding to the questions from the reporters of Tamil TV channels and English newspapers over the recent internal issues in the BJP, asked the journalists to inform about the organisation they belong to before answering their questions.
He allegedly lambasted a reporter of a leading Tamil television channel for asking a question in connection with the death of a woman, 34, who went missing from a Yoga centre in Alandurai near Coimbatore. She was later found dead in an abandoned well.
Calling a section of journalists gathered at the BJP headquarters ”agenda driven”, Annamalai said he doesn’t ask them to cover his press conferences.
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His fiery exchange with the reporters invited criticism.
The Chennai Press Club issued a statement condemning Annamalai for disrespecting and threatening the reporters during the press conference. Noting it is not healthy for the leader of a party to spread lies about the work ethic of a journalist, the Chennai Press Club asked the BJP leader to change his approach. It also said he should learn to maintain a cordial relationship with the media.
Leaders of other parties, including Sriperumbudur Congress MLA Selvaperunthagai, also condemned the incident and urged the media to boycott Annamalai if he continues to disrespect them.