Friday, Jul 12, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The DMK chief, who was arrested on the night of June 29 last year, unequivocally condemned the detention of his lieutenant-turned baiter. However, he refused to say whether his party would support the MDMK's Statewide stir plan.
According to him, the detention of Mr.Vaiko under the Prevention of Terrorism Act confirmed the fears that the legislation would be misused by some States for ``political vendetta.'' When the DMK expressed its apprehensions over the scope for abuse of the POTA at a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance, the Prime Minister and others said it would not be misused. But the arrest of Mr.Vaiko proved them wrong.
However, the DMK leader parried queries whether it was right on the part of Mr.Vaiko, an MP and constituent of the NDA Government at the Centre, to support the LTTE banned by the Centre. ``I cannot go into the details of the issue.''
On the DMK's stand on the LTTE, Mr.Karunanidhi said it wanted Tamils in Sri Lanka to live in peace. However, it was the AIADMK general secretary, Jayalalithaa, who supported the LTTE even after the assassination of the EPRLF leader, Padmanabha, in Chennai, while the DMK condemned the killing.
Asked whether Mr.Vaiko's arrest was an attempt by the Jayalalithaa regime to divert attention from pressing problems, the DMK leader said: ``It is nothing unusual for this Government (to resort to such diversionary tactic)''.
Arrest hasty: BJP
Reacting to the developments, the newly-appointed BJP national secretary, L.Ganesan, said the AIADMK Government should not have resorted to the hasty arrest of Mr. Vaiko under the POTA particularly when legal opinion was divided on whether his pro-LTTE statements warranted detention.
``Mr.Vaiko has stood by the BJP and we will try and help him within the ambit of the law.''
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