New Delhi [India], January 26 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party chief K Annamalai, who has faced attacks from DMK over his "Rafale watch", has said he has interest in fighter jets so he is wearing the watch out of passion and it represents him "as a nationalist".
"I have interest in fighter jets so wearing it out of my passion. This watch is something which I wanted to wear because it represents me as a nationalist. The beauty of the watch is that the watch is of Rafale cockpit (theme) so what the pilot sees, it's designed like that," Annamalai said.
DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji had last month targeted Annamalai for wearing a limited edition Rafale watch made by a Paris-based watchmaker.
"Only 500 pieces of the Rafale watch were made for the French company, costing Rs 5 lakh. A man who claims to own only four goats is wearing this watch! Can he share the receipt of the watch he bought," Senthil Balaji had said in a tweet.
Annamalai rejected DMK leader's criticism.
In the latest episode of ANI Podcast with Smita Prakash, the BJP leader said he will show the bill of the watch on the first day of his padyatra slated to begin in April this year.
He said this is for the first time that a ruling party is asking a commoner to show a bill.
"DMK accuses that this watch has got some surveillance and I record all videos and photos with whom I am travelling, but it is a plain watch. This is for the first time that a ruling party is asking a commoner to show a bill. I will show the bill for this watch on the first day of my padayatra. It is so funny that they are asking for the bill. This is the level the state politics has come to," Annamalai said.
The Rafale limited edition watch, made by Bell & Ross, was launched in 2015 in collaboration with Dassault Aviation, the company which makes the Rafale fighter jets. India has procured 36 Rafale fighter jets and all of them have arrived.
"My fascination is not with Rafale but with a fighter jet. Probably the Indian jet. The day India manufactures its own fighter jet- Tejas is just taking off, the day we have cutting edge, maybe a fourth or fifth generation fighter jet, I will start wearing that too," Annamalai said.
He said DMK's attack on him has helped make corruption in the state.
"It has become a good occasion for me. Till now, people were not talking about corruption. People don't listen this issue. People say what's new in it, we have accepted this. I am happy that this incident has raised the issue of corruption in Tamil Nadu," he said.
"The DMK's image of me is Annamalai has got two sheep and sitting inside a village and rearing it. In my IPS career, I earned money and now I run a farming business. I can afford a car, a shoe or something I want," he added.
Annamalai is slated to start state-wide padyatra on April 14, the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar. It will start from Trichindur in Thuthukudi district of the state. (ANI)