Tamil Nadu

Udhayanidhi Stalin arrested

Battle begins: DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin was detained at a marriage hall in Thirukuvalai on Frida   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin was arrested at Thirukuvalai along with 200 party cadres on Friday moments before commencing his State-wide ‘Vidiyalai Nokki Stalinin Kural’ campaign from the ancestral home of party patriarch and his grandfather M. Karunanidhi.

Citing COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, the Thirukuvalai police registered a case against Mr. Udhayanidhi Stalin and party functionaries. They were kept at a marriage hall and let off after a couple of hours.

The campaign planned for the day in Keelvelur Assembly constituency was reportedly shelved. “We will proceed with the campaign to expose the corrupt deeds of the AIADMK government and anti-people policies of the BJP government at the Centre, despite the obstacles caused through the police department,” Mr. Udhayanidhi told mediapersons.

Accusing Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami of carrying out a political campaign in the State under the pretext of conducting official COVID-19 review meetings, he asked if the police would extend the same approach during meetings of AIADMK workers.

Condemning the detention, former MLA K.N. Sekaran courted arrest by leading a demonstration of partymen at Tiruverumbur in Tiruchi district, where the DMK youth wing leader was intercepted by the police earlier in the day while he was proceeding to Thirukuvalai from the airport.

The police blocked the road by parking a lorry and permitted only Mr. Udhayanidhi to proceed further. Subsequently, the other vehicles were permitted in batches. Meanwhile, DMK general secretary Duraimurugan and MDMK chief Vaiko strongly condemned the arrest of Mr. Udhayanidhi.

In a statement, Mr. Duraimurugan said Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, his cabinet colleagues and the ruling AIADMK have been holding various meetings. These meetings are not stopped, but when it comes to DMK restrictions are imposed, he alleged. “This raises suspicion that AIADMK wants to halt DMK’s campaign in the name of COVID-19 restrictions. Despite arrest, our campaign won’t stop,” he added.

Mr. Vaiko said nobody can curb freedom of expression and alleged that the government has arrested Mr. Udhayanidhi due to the fear of losing the election.

DMK MP Kanimozhi and CPI (M) State secretary K Balakrishnan also condemned the arrest.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:16:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/udhayanidhi-stalin-arrested/article33146089.ece

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