Chennai: Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan has courted controversy declaring that Tamils would be happy if the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was alive. Congressmen here are livid at the BJP Minister's outlandish allegiance to the declared assassin of the former Prime Minister of India.
During the media interaction at Nagapattinam soon after his meeting with the BJP members on Sunday, a reporter asked Pon Radhakrishnan to comment on a recent claim by Tamil nationalist leader Pazha Nedumaran that the LTTE leader Prabhakaran was "very much alive and will soon make a public appearance, at an appropriate time".
"Pazha Nedumaran Ay-ya is a highly respected leader and if what he said is true, then the Tamil society will be immensely happy", replied the BJP Minister.
TN Congress leaders have reacted with anger, demanding explanation from the BJP leadership and the PMO if they approve of their minister eulogising the LTTE chief accused of ordering the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
"He is a Union Minister, sworn to allegiance to the Constitution of India. How can he support, nay eulogise, the assassin of a former Prime Minister? This is untenable", fumed TN Congress spokesperson Peter Alphonse.
He pointed out that while the AIADMK Government in TN supported the release of the seven LTTE convicts serving life term in Vellore jail for involvement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, the BJP Government at the Centre has stoutly opposed that in the Supreme Court. "It's strange that while the Centre is firmly against the LTTE, its Minister here is hailing Prabhakaran", said Peter Alphonse.
He said it was obvious that Pon Radhakrishnan made his pro-Prabhakran statement with a view to appease the AIADMK since the TN Government and the ruling party have demanded the release of all the seven LTTE convicts serving life term for involvement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, which in effect meant support for the LTTE. "The BJP is desperate for an alliance with the AIADMK since no other party will touch it (BJP). And they think that these kind of statements will make the alliance with the AIADMK easy, never mind if they are jarringly anti-national", said the former state legislator.