Former Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has alleged that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is enacting a drama by claiming that she does not have the powers to reverse the decision of the President who rejected the mercy petitions of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. The three are facing death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Mr. Stalin, who met former Transport Minister K.N. Nehru in the Cuddalore Central Prison on Monday, told reporters on the jail campus that Ms. Jayalalithaa had made a statement in the Assembly that she did not have the powers to offer clemency to the three convicts who were scheduled to be hanged on September 9.

Mr. Stalin opined that even if the Chief Minister did not enjoy the powers to cancel the capital punishment on the basis of the clemency petitions she could have recommended it to the Centre through a motion in the Assembly.

About the DMK's stand on the issue, Mr. Stalin said that party leader M. Karunanidhi had already sought the cancellation of the capital punishment.

Asked whether the DMK would launch any agitation in this regard, Mr. Stalin said that the party would follow the directions of Mr Karunanidhi.

Referring to the continuing arrests of former DMK ministers and functionaries, he said it was being done with an eye on the local body elections.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National