DPI criticises DMK stand on POTA

CUDDALORE, APRIL 24. The Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) leader, Thol. Tirumavalavan, addressing the minority community at Mangalampettai near Vriddhachalam today, said that after having allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for about five years, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) claimed that it had not sacrificed secularism.

Mr. Tirumavalavan asserted that when the DMK, the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) were in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), none of them differed with the BJP on any issue. Rather, they supported the passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

The DPI had been consistently opposing the POTA, and soon after the Act came into force, it convened an all-party meeting and invited the DMK leader, M. Karunanidhi, also. But he said that since he had supported the POTA, he could not participate.

Mr. Tirumavalavan said the BJP-All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) alliance was undoubtedly formed to promote religious fervour.

Earlier, he said the BJP had roped in many actresses for the campaign and only in their painted faces could the party see "India shining." In reality, the people in villages were wallowing in poverty and unemployment had assumed serious proportions. During the campaign, Mr. Tirumavalavan christened children with Tamil names.

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