POTA amendment just a gimmick, says Karunanidhi

CHENNAI OCT. 22. The DMK is not satisfied with the Union Cabinet decision to amend the Prevention of Terrorism Act for conferring more powers on the Central and State review committees to make their decisions binding.

The president, M. Karunanidhi, told newsmen here today that the question of review would arise only after the legislation was invoked. The Centre's move to give "more teeth" to the review committee was nothing but a "gimmick". He could not say whether the Centre's decision would help to prevent misuse of the Act.

The DMK contention was that the Act itself should be withdrawn summarily as it was being misused by Tamil Nadu Government. Already 25 persons, including Vaiko, leader of the MDMK and P. Nedumaran of the Tamilar Desiya Iyakkam had been detained for over a year. So there was no change in the party's plan to organise a Statewide agitation on December 1 in support of its demand.

Asked whether the DMK would organise joint agitations in coordination with other parties on issues affecting people, Mr. Karunanidhi said that any such move would be decided only after the December 1 stir.

The party legislators would participate in nest month's Assembly session and raise issues based on day-to-day developments.

(In the last session, the party boycotted the House after attending the Assembly for some days.)

Refusing to respond to BJP comments that the party's future alliance with the DMK would be decided after Assembly elections were over in five States, Mr. Karunanidhi said he could not answer hypothetical questions. His partymen would abide by the high command decision, which would be taken with the approval of the general council.

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