The decision was in tune with popular demand in the state and seen as politically beneficial in the general elections. Karunanidhi, naturally, didn’t want to lose out on benefits.
Expectedly, the SC decision was welcomed by the Congress party, which hoped the apex court would come out with an appropriate order.
Within minutes of the Supreme Court passing its order stopping the Tamil Nadu government from releasing the three killers, TN officials said the government would respond to the SC notice.
The other parties also looked for an escape route on Thursday.
While state BJP president Pon Radhakrishnan had welcomed the CM’s decision, senior BJP leader and leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley lambasted it. MDMK leader Vaiko, a BJP ally, who earlier said, “I salute Jayalalithaa for her bold decision,” was unusually quiet on Thursday.