Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Thursday came under fire from political parties over her decision to release former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s killers with Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar saying that the move proved that she was “not capable of becoming the PM of the country.”

“Jayalalitha hopes to benefit from this decision in the next elections. But with this decision, she has proved that she is not capable of becoming the PM of the country,’ Mr. Aiyar told reporters outside Parliament while at the same time stating that, “I will be happy if the death sentence is done away with“.

His party colleague and Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said it was an instance of “injustice by the state government“.

It is “a very wrong decision... no state government should do it,” she added.

Congress MP Hanumanth Rao said, “Keeping the upcoming parliamentary polls in mind she wanted to release those persons who killed Rajiv Gandhi. So, what will happen to the killers of common men? This is vote-bank politics and not in the interest of nation.”

Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury termed the decision “bizarre” and questioned the motive behind it with the Lok Sabha polls drawing closer.

As to the delay in deciding the mercy petitions, she said, “There are pros and cons while deciding on mercy petitions. But how can you say that because of the delay in addressing the mercy petitions, the state government decided (to release the convicts).”

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