The Tamil Nadu police deferred arresting MDMK leader Vaiko, 65, for threatening that “rivers of blood” would flow in the state if LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran is harmed in any way.
The police on Thursday charged Vaiko with sedition for the remark but chose not to rush his arrest after his party announced his candidature from the Virdhunagar Lok Sabha constituency, 500 km south of Chennai late on Thursday night.
Virdhunagar, hometown of veteran Congress leader K. Kamaraj, is now the hub of a new parliamentary constituency after delimitation. It includes Sivakasi, from where Vaiko had won in the 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha elections.
With another sedition case registered against Vaiko, the legal process would take its own course, sources close to the ruling DMK said. Evidently, the Karunanidhi government is not keen to make a hero of Vaiko over his controversial remarks at a rally earlier this week.
It seems the state government does not want Vaiko to draw political mileage with elections due to be held in the state on May 13.
The government is inclined to arrest him after investigations are completed — and that is likely only after polling in the state is over.
The police’s cautious approach in re-arresting Vaiko was indicated by the state’s director general of police K.P. Jain on Friday. “I have asked my officers to take action as per their powers and wisdom,” Jain told Hindustan Times, adding, “I do not clear all arrests.”
Vaiko was arrested in Tuticorin recently when he tried to stage a black flag demonstration to protest the Centre’s “betrayal of Tamils” during External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit there.