Chennai: Sending a clear message to the political outfits that foment violence, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa warned of banning such parties, as she came down heavily on Pattali Makkal Katchi for the recent arson following the arrest of its leader S Ramadoss. The chief minister lashed out at the PMK in the state assembly and declared that her government would initiate steps to recover damages from the party for the loss caused to public and private property.
"Any political party that disturbs law and order and public peace would be banned," she said and likened PMK to a "terrorist" organisation. Three persons were killed in violent incidents of torching vehicles and stone pelting, she said, adding that PMK workers were responsible for damaging 850 vehicles, including government buses.
"PMK men who were involved in illegal activities initially set on fire vehicles after forcing the passengers to alight. Later, like terrorist organisations they hurled petrol bombs on moving vehicles, causing panic among passengers," she said while replying to a special call attention motion on the violence in the state.
Making it clear that her government will not tolerate acts that vitiated law and order situation, Jayalalithaa said, "this government will not hesitate to ban any party that is involved in violence with the motive of disturbing public peace and law and order and damaging public property. It will certainly take action."
She said the violence by PMK workers had tarnished the good repute enjoyed by Tamil Nadu among foreign companies and thereby, affecting the investment prospects at a time when the companies were keen to invest in the state. Making a detailed statement, she listed out the damage caused to life and property during the violence allegedly involving PMK men. She said the violence had disrupted bus services and traffic in many parts of the state as also on national and state highways during night, causing inconvenience to public.
Ramadoss, who has been released from prison last week, had flayed the Jayalalithaa government for arresting him and scores of PMK activists. He had accused the state government of clamping an 'unannounced emergency' against his party and Vanniayar Sangam, a community outfit and parent body of PMK. The PMK leader was arrested on April 30 for defying prohibitory orders in Villupuram and trying to stage a protest over the recent Marakkanam violence allegedly targeting Dalits.