LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2019: INDIA DECIDES

Rahul Gandhi to visit Tamil Nadu today amid convicts’ release campaign

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Mar 13, 2019, 3:56 am IST
Updated Mar 13, 2019, 3:56 am IST
Mr. Rahul would also be visiting the State capital to interact with students at Stella Maris College and later with the media persons.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi
 Congress president Rahul Gandhi

Chennai: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visit Tamil Nadu on Wednesday to address the UPA rally at a time when a campaign demanding the release of Rajiv Gandhi convicts is gaining momentum in Tamil Nadu.

He has chosen to kick-start the poll campaign from Nagercoil, the headquarters of Kanyakumari district, which is said to be the stronghold of the BJP and it was Kanyakumari from where BJP senior and Union Minister of State for Finance and Ship-ping Pon Radhakrishnan had won in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Mr. Rahul would also be visiting the State capital to interact with students at Stella Maris College and later with the media persons.

 

He would then air dash to Nagercoil via Thiruvananthapuram to address the UPA rally.  DMK president M. K. Stalin who had pitched in Rahul for Prime Minister candidate, will meet him at rally. The leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), CPI, MDMK, VCK and IUML are also likely to share the stage with him.

The Congress has been allocated 10 seats by the DMK during the seat-sharing negotiations. It had allotted two seats each to CPI (M), CPI and VCK and one seat each to MDMK, IUML, KMDK and IJK. The DMK would contest from 20 seats in Tamil Nadu. TNCC president K. S. Alagiri said the constituencies from which the Congress would contest would be announced tomorrow. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the DMK could not win a single seat and lost dismally to rival AIADMK.

Arputhammal hopes to meet Rahul: Rajiv Gandhi convict Perarivalan’s mother Arputhammal hopes for an audience with Mr. Rahul during his visit to the city to plead for support of long battle fro the release of her son who she lamented is languishing in jail for 28 years. She claims her son is innocent.

 Mrs. Arputhammal, along with members of various political parties and civil society, participated in a human chain agitation on Walajah Road at Chepauk here on Saturday. Agitations were held in Madurai, Coimbatore and neighbouring Puducherry, demanding the Governor Banwarilal Purohit to order the release of the seven life convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The convicts: Nalini, Murugan (Nalini's husband), Santhan, A.G. Perarivalan, Robert Payas, S. Jayakumar and Ravichandran, have spent the last 28 years in prison.

On Sept. 9, 2018, the State government recommended the release of all the convicts under Article 161 of the Constitution. According to VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan as per the directions of the Supreme Court, the State government had passed a resolution to release all the convicts, who were languishing in prison. The Governor will have to act according to Article 161 and order their release.

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