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War of words over TN CM's poem on slain LTTE leader
November 04, 2007 20:20 IST
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Jayalalithaa lashed out at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for "eulogizing" slain LTTE leader Thamilselvan, but the DMK patriarch defended his tribute, saying it was a "human nature to express condolence".
The Congress for whom DMK is a key and powerful ally said Karunanidhi's soulful poem praising the "courage and valour" of LTTE's public face reflected his "personal views".
"However as far as the Congress is concerned, we are firm in our opposition to the banned outfit," senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily told reporters.
In a statement late last night, Jayalalithaa demanded the dismissal of the DMK government for violating the Constitution by supporting the banned Sri Lankan outfit.
She said Karunanidhi's "action of praising Thamilselvan", killed in an air strike by the Sri Lankan Air Force, was unconstitutional as the LTTE was banned in India and its leader V Prabhakaran was a proclaimed offender in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
She alleged it was clear from Karunananidhi's action he had "secret ties" with the LTTE and had been "helping" them.
"The person killed in Sri Lanka [Images] was a Tamil. As Tamil blood is running in my body also, I expressed my condolence," he wrote in the DMK-mouthpiece Murasoli. He had yesterday penned a poem praising his courage and mental strength.
The DMK patriarch said it was "a human nature to express condolence" even if a political rival passed away.
"On that basis only, I went and paid homage when senior AIADMK leader Nedunchezhiyan died," he added.
Reacting to AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa's demand that the Centre should dismiss his Government, Karunanidhi said MDMK chief Vaiko, an ally of the AIADMK, had issued a statement appealing to the international community to condemn the killing of Thamilselvan.
"When Vaiko issues such a statement, she approves it. When I condole the death of Thamilselvan, she demands the dismissal of my government. She is very anxious to come back to power by any means. But, she needs the people's support for it," he said.
The Congress, meanwhile, said it would "neither forget nor forgive those behind the gruesome killing of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi".
Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme implementation G K Vasan said the state Congress would convey its "strong feelings" against the "misplaced sympathy" from certain quarters to the party high command in New Delhi.