Why is Sonia silent on Karunanidhi’s LTTE remark: Jayalalitha

Monday, April 20, 2009

MADURAI - AIADMK boss J. Jayalalitha Monday attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her silence on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s open support for the outlawed Tamil Tigers, which was behind the assassination of her husband in 1991.

Speaking to CNN IBN news channel, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister asked how Sonia Gandhi could remain silent on the matter - as widow of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, as Congress party president and as United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chief.

‘Why is it that Sonia Gandhi is keeping silent? Is she not the Congress president, is she not the widow of Rajiv Gandhi, is she not the chairperson of the UPA? She should come out with clear explicit answer on these questions, and she should tell the nation what she feels about it as Mr. Karunanidhi has made the statement. And she should also tell the nation what she proposes to do about it as the president of Congress and chairperson of UPA.’

Jayalalitha was reacting to Karunaidhi telling NDTV Sunday that he would ‘deeply regret it (if LTTE chief Prabhakaran is killed)’. ‘I will regret it. I will say it happened because of a lack of unity among the Tamil groups in Sri Lanka,’ he told the channel.

Asked if he saw Prabhakaran as a terrorist, Karunanidhi said: ‘No, I don’t. Some people in Prabhakaran’s group might be involved in terrorism. But that is not Prabhakaran’s fault.’

‘Prabhakaran is a good friend, and I am not a terrorist.’

However, he changed his stance Monday after his remarks triggered a political storm.

He said that the LTTE ‘did not start off as a terrorist group. They began as a liberation group but it has now become a terrorist organisation’, Times Now TV quoted him as saying.

Karunanidhi also insisted that the people had not forgotten Sriperumbudur - the small town near Chennai where a LTTE suicide bomber assassinated former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally in May 1991.

Filed under: India, Politics

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