Differences in TN Cong over Perarivalan's release

by IANS |

Chennai, May 19 (IANS) Differences have cropped up in the Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress over the release of A.G. Perarivalan, convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Congress state chief K.S. Alagiri has come out strongly against the release of the convict and has termed that "Perarivalan was not innocent and that the Supreme Court had let him off citing legalities and that the very Supreme Court had earlier punished the seven convicts after finding that they were assassins".

However, senior party leader and former Union minister S. Thiruvanavakarasu has said that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had never said that these convicts should not be released. In a statement he also said that both Rahul and Sonia will not have any regrets over the release of Perarivalan.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu unit of the state Congress will conduct a silent protest march against Perarivalan's release. Alagiri called upon the party workers and cadres to conduct a silent march on Thursday.

The Congress state president said that the party workers would cover their mouths with a white cloth and hold placards that state, "We oppose terrorism. Assassinating a person won't be a solution to differences of opinion".

The Tamil Nadu political parties are supportive of the release of Perarivalan and both DMK and AIADMK are vying with each other to take the credit of the release. AIADMK leaders and former Chief Ministers, O. Panneerselvam and K. Palaniswami have said that the Late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had taken the initiative to release the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts and added that the Supreme Court judgement was based on the then stand of the state cabinet to release the convicts.

Former interim general secretary of the AIADMK, V.K. Sasikala has also said that it was the political stand taken by Late J. Jayalalithaa that led to the release of Perarivalan.

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