Embracing killer of ex-PM sets wrong precedent: Shiv Sena criticises MK Stalin

‘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,’ said Shiv Sena mouthpiece, Saamana, in an editorial criticising MK Stalin.
An image of Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin hugging Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict AG Perarivalan at the Chennai airport after the latter’s release from jail went viral on social media, triggering a political controversy. (PTI)
An image of Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin hugging Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict AG Perarivalan at the Chennai airport after the latter’s release from jail went viral on social media, triggering a political controversy. (PTI)
Updated on May 25, 2022 05:52 PM IST
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MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday criticised Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin for welcoming Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict AG Perarivalan, saying such acts set a wrong precedent and do not sit well in the political culture of the country. An editorial in 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.

Perarivalan is one of the seven convicts in the assassination of the former prime minister. The manner in which Stalin received Perarivalan on the day of the Supreme Court’s decision announcing his release triggered a political controversy. An image of the chief minister hugging Perarivalan at the Chennai airport went viral, evoking strong reactions from many quarters.

“Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister of the country and he was assassinated in Tamil Nadu. The convict of the assassination plot was released recently, and the chief of Tamil Nadu welcomed him, which does not sit well with our culture and morality. No matter what your politics is, one cannot pay respect to the killers of a prime minister. It is inappropriate and sets a wrong precedent,” Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut told reporters in Mumbai.

The editorial in Saamana said that the criminal elements in politics are increasing and now they are being given ministerial berths. “But celebrating the killer of a former prime minister is a serious instance; in which culture does this fit in?”

Sena’s criticism of Stalin is particularly interesting given the cordial ties between Sena chief and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and his Tamil Nadu counterpart. Stalin’s party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is one of the regional parties that is joining hands to cobble up a front against the Bharatiya Janata Party at the national level. Stalin had come to Mumbai for the swearing-in of Thackeray on November 28, 2019, following an invitation from Thackeray.

Raut added 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, attempts were made by some political parties to give a status of freedom fighter to the terrorists, who were killed in skirmishes with the armed forces. In all the instances there was a widespread protest against it,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

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