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Action against Guru not vindictive

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M. Karunanidhi
M. Karunanidhi

R.K. Radhakrishnan

CHENNAI: There is nothing vindictive about Pattali Makkal Katchi leader J. Guru being held under the National Security Act, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Friday.

Asked for his comments on the issue, Mr. Karunanidhi said that the police action preceded the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s parting of ways with the PMK. “I came to know about the speech from the newspapers first. I did not take it seriously then. It was much later that [Arcot N.] Veeraswami played me the CD at a marriage function. I learn that the police had registered a complaint two days after Guru made the speech,” the Chief Minister told The Hindu. The Chief Minister wanted to know if the police should not act when a person threatened a Union Minister, a local MLA and had abused a District Collector. Mr. Guru had threatened to kill Union Minister A. Raja and local MLA Sivasankar if any action was taken against PMK office-bearers. He had accused the District Collector of collusion with the ruling party and had hurled abuses. Even the Chief Minister was not spared during the speech, which he made for the consumption of PMK members.

“As far as I understand, the police gathered evidence and then acted against him. If even this should not be done, then should we be governing the State,” he asked.

Despite his sharp differences with the PMK leadership, Mr. Karunanidhi insisted that there should be no mindless or personal verbal attacks on the PMK leadership. Referring to an interview given to a Tamil magazine by a close family member, Mr. Karunanidhi said that he had to check such attacks because the DMK believed in political decency. DMK leaders pointed out to an earlier instance of Mr. Karunanidhi asking a senior party platform speaker to apologise to the leader of a political party for a similar verbal attack.

Merely because the PMK and the DMK had differences it did not mean that anyone who has just come into politics could begin attacking a leader like Dr. Ramadoss, he said. Asked if the changed circumstances at the Centre meant that the DMK would move closer to the PMK, Mr. Karunanidhi replied that what had happened at the Centre would have no bearing on what happened here.

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