All India Congress Committee secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu Sanjay Dutt on Sunday charged that the BJP, “which claims to be a nationalist party”, has been insulting the memory of martyr and former Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare.
Addressing a meeting of party workers ahead of the Ottapidaram Assembly constituency bypoll, he charged that the BJP was supporting terrorism by fielding Pragya Thakur in Bhopal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to deflect attention from important issues, he said alleging that the BJP has given ticket to a terrorist, and she is speaking ill of someone who died protecting the people.
He alleged that Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam were not loyal to former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who was against an alliance with the BJP.
Dubbing the AIADMK-BJP alliance as “unholy”, he claimed that the DMK-Congress alliance has a long history. “It dates back to the days of Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) and Indira Gandhi,” he said.
Mr. Dutt went on to support the controversial statement of DMK president M.K. Stalin, who asked the people to take cash for votes but choose their alliance in the election. “Whatever money they give you through corruption, take it, but vote against them,” he said.
At the same time, the Congress leader added, “Voters of Tamil Nadu have self-respect. The Election Commission should stop this (voter bribery), but it has been taking one-sided action.”
He said that the workers who brought “success” to DMK candidate Kanimozhi in the Lok Sabha election should work with the same vigour in the Ottapidaram bypoll.
“Votes for Kanimozhi would help make Rahul Gandhi Prime Minister. Votes for DMK candidate M.C. Shanmugaiya will help MK Stalin become Chief Minister,” he said.
MLA Anitha R. Radhakrishnan, TNCC working president Mayura Jayakumar, TNCC vice-president A.P.C.V. Shanmugam, DMK candidate M.C. Shanmugaiya, Congress district secretary C.S. Muralitharan and other leaders were present.