Chennai: DMK working president and Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, M.K. Stalin has warned that protests against Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit will continue so long as he "interferes with the administration" and does not "respect state autonomy."
"I wish to tell the Governor that we shall never stand in his way of discharging the customary duties as Governor as enshrined in the law…but you have ordered the arrest of DMK members just because we voiced our concern for state autonomy," Mr. Stalin said after he was released on Saturday evening after being arrested along with scores of DMK members earlier in the day for attempting to lay siege to the Raj Bhavan here.
"If the Governor wants to become Chief Minister, he may as well change the AIADMK leadership and occupy the chair", said Stalin, adding, "We are prepared to face you directly, then. Your dream of running the government through the backdoor will never fructify."
Contending that showing black flags was nothing new, Mr. Stalin said since he took charge, Mr. Purohit has been acting as "Centre's agent and working against States' interests and autonomy policy." From the beginning the DMK has been opposing his review of government schemes by showing black flags. "And he has been carrying reviews repeatedly without realising our opposition. We had showed black flags today, in a peaceful and democratic manner on the path shown by our late leader Anna," he said.
Black flags were shown at various leaders in the past, for instance at former Prime Ministers: Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajaji (last Governor General of India) and even the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he came to Chennai. No one was arrested during such occasions, he pointed out.
"Showing black flags is an accepted form of protest in democracy. All of sudden, our cadres were caught and incarcerated in prison. We do not demand their release. The Governor, who is responsible for such draconian act and depriving the rights of the State should resign immediately. We are conducting the agitation insisting on his resignation," Mr. Stalin said.
Police said 192 DMK party workers were arrested on Friday at Namakkal when they tried to show black flags at the Governor Banwarilal Purohit for interfering with the affairs of the state government....