The Tamil Nadu Congress unit has hit out at political parties' seeking the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, causing a tremor of dissent in the DMK alliance which has so far been committed to their release.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President KS Alagiri has opposed the move of politicians seeking release of convicts as opposed to courts facilitating it. In a statement, Alagiri said, “We will accept if the courts decide to free the convicts but politicians seeking their release is not acceptable. People convicted of murder should be regarded as convicts and not as Tamilians.”
The DMK, which is an ally of the Congress, had written to Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday seeking the early release of the seven convicts. DMK president MK Stalin in his letter stated that the governor has been delaying the recommendations of the state cabinet on the release of the convicts for over two years. The courts have also questioned as to why the governor has not been able to arrive at a decision on pardoning the convicts.
It is true that the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has stood by its earlier stance of disapproving the release, which is somewhat at odds with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks that he had “forgiven” him and it was up to the government to pardon them.
The release of the seven convicts has been an object of debate for years now. Now, it has come to the fore after it became known that Governor Purohit would travel to meet with home minister Amit Shah to “discuss important issues,” fueling speculation that their release could be on the agenda. Ahead of elections, the long-sought-after release could provide a tailwind to its facilitator, in this case, the AIADMK.