Karuna, others laud Jayalalithaa for nod to release convicts

Karuna, others laud Jayalalithaa for nod to release convictsCHENNAI: DMK chief M Karunanidhi today lauded his arch political rival Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for her decision to release the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case as the state cabinet move came in for praise from leaders cutting across party lines.

“This is not a quick decision. When I made this opinion [seeking release] in 2011, she did not accept it. However, today, I appreciate her for taking the same stance,” Karunanidhi told reporters when asked if the decision could be considered a quick response.

The DMK chief also hoped that the Centre would concur with the state government’s decision, saying if that happened “we could be more happy.”

MDMK chief Vaiko said Jayalalithaa had done a very laudable thing, adding it was a merciful humanitarian move.

“I greet, congratulate and thank her,” he said.

CPI RPT CPI leader D Raja said Tamil Nadu Government acted quickly and the decision was very much laudable.

BJP state unit president Pon Radhakrishnan said, “Any move made in accordance with the due process of law” was welcome.

Pro-Tamil leader P Nedumaran expressed gratitude “on behalf of the world Tamils”.

However, there was a voice of dissent as well. While Subramanian Swamy (BJP) said the Cabinet decision was illegal, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president B S Gnanadesikan slammed the move as an instance of competitive politics.

“Politics is happening over the Rajiv case in Tamil Nadu. After the opposition urged the release of three convicts, the government has come forward to release seven convicts,” he said. PMK chief S Ramadoss welcomed the government decision and urged it to set free sandalwood smuggler Veerappan’s elder brother Madiah, whose death sentence was also commuted by the Supreme Court along with that of 14 others last month on the grounds of delay in disposing their mercy pleas.

He said Madiah should be released considering his advanced age and illness as he has spent over 20 years in prison.–PTI

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