DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and MDMK general secretary Vaiko have condemned the submission by the Chennai City Police before the Madras High Court that the statue of thespian Sivaji Ganesan on Kamarajar Salai-Radhakrishnan Salai was obstructing the visibility of motorists.

Mr. Karunanidhi, who unveiled the statue when the DMK was in power, said those who sought to remove the statue would pay the price for it. “If those who removed the statue of Kannagi from Marina are intent on removing the statue of my friend Sivaji Ganesan, let them reap the outcome of their actions,” he said in a statement. Mr. Vaiko accused the government of “political vendetta” because the statue was erected by the previous DMK regime. “A lot of accidents are taking place on the same road because of drunk driving. So the argument of the government that the statue is obstructing the flow of traffic cannot be accepted,” he said.

Former Union Minister E.V.K.S. Elangovan said it was highly condemnable if the government was acting out of political vendetta to remove the statue. “If the statue is really hindering the flow of traffic and causing accidents, it should be shifted to a suitable place where people could visit and pay tribute to the actor,” he said. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee Organisation secretary K. Ramalinga Jothi wondered why the South Indian Film Artistes’ Association was remaining silent without launching a protest against the police petition filed in High Court.