Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin meets Perarivalan, his mother Arputhammal and other members of their family in Chennai. (Twitter/@CMOTamilnadu)
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday criticised Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin for welcoming Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict A.G. Perarivalan. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party said such acts set a wrong precedent and are not good for the political culture of the country.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who had praised Mr. Stalin’s political maturity, said that the Tamil Nadu CM has set a dangerous trend by "dignifying" a killer of the late former PM.
An editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said that Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in May 1991 was shocking but a chief minister embracing the convict of killing the former prime minister is even more shocking.
Mr. Stalin had warmly greeted Perarivalan after his release after spending 31 years in jail. Calling it highly improper, the editorial asked, "It is another thing that the Congress and DMK are in alliance in Tamil Nadu. But what kind of a political culture is this where a CM hugging and felicitating the killer of a former prime minister?"
The editorial added, "What did Mr Stalin achieve by welcoming Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin?... These experiments of ‘anything for politics’ must stop. Dignifying the killer of a former prime minister is a dangerous precedent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also oppose this."
Mr Raut said that in the past terrorists were felicitated and celebrated but it was met with criticism and protest. "Many Khalistani leaders were felicitated by leaders then, the killers of Indira Gandhi were also celebrated. But people did not approve of it. Some political parties and leaders tried to portray terrorists from Kashmir as freedom fighters. But that was also opposed by people. Mr Stalin greeting former PM’s assassin is mortally incorrect and also does not fit in our political culture," he said.