Leaders of DMK, allies slam ‘fascist’ action against Senthilbalaji

Updated - June 16, 2023 11:38 pm IST

Published - June 16, 2023 10:53 pm IST - COIMBATORE

Leaders of DMK and its allies at the protest held in Coimbatore on Friday.

Leaders of DMK and its allies at the protest held in Coimbatore on Friday. | Photo Credit: S. Siva Saravanan

The fear of imminent defeat in the next Parliamentary elections inflicted on the BJP by the DMK’s potential to transform into a harmonising force for Opposition parties in the country was the actual reason for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) unleashing “injustice” on Minister V. Senthilbalaji, leaders of the DMK and fraternal parties said on Friday.

At a mammoth public meeting in Coimbatore to condemn what they described as the Minister’s “draconian” arrest, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) president K. Veeramani said if the main intent of the ED’s action at the behest of the “fascist” Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to “frighten” the DMK into budging through “psychological warfare”, it had only steeled the resolve of the ideologically-united parties in Tamil Nadu to make the BJP bite the dust.

The “inhuman” treatment of Mr. Senthilbalaji, who was instrumental in the spate of DMK’s successes in the elections to the Parliament, Assembly and local bodies, cannot be viewed in isolation, Mr. Veeramani said.

The arrest episode was an “Aryan conspiracy” to divert attention from the meeting of Opposition parties in Bihar on June 23. (But) It was “utterly foolish” on the part of the BJP to “day dream” that the DMK, which was forged in fire, could be subdued, the DK leader said. He endorsed similar views expressed by MDMK general secretary Vaiko, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president K.S Alagiri, VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan and other speakers, including CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan and CPI State secretary R. Mutharasan.

The common position taken by all the speakers was that that the ED action was owing to “political vendetta” by the BJP and aimed at isolating Mr. Senthilbalaji with the motive of making inroads in the Parliamentary elections. The public meeting, they emphasised, serve as a catalyst for mobilising the electorate in the region and across the State to stand firm to remove the presence the “divisive forces”.

Mr. Alagiri said Mr. Senthilbalaji’s arrest was a direct provocation for Chief Minister M.K. Stalin for having proposed the candidacy of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister.

Presiding over the meeting, DMK treasurer T.R. Baalu said BJP’s defeat in the Karnataka Assembly election had made the party jittery, and it was using dubious means to conquer the Opposition. The ED had committed a grave offence by entering into the Secretariat and meting out inhuman treatment to Mr. Senthilbalaji, to the extent of causing urinal incontinence, he said.

The Minister was only asking for the summons order while refusing to sign the papers for which he was subjected to physical and mental torture, he alleged. The “conspirators” have to pay the price for their deeds, Mr. Baalu added.

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