DMK president M.K. Stalin on Saturday alleged that the arrest of partys organisation secretary R.S. Bharthi under The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was actually a ruse to divert the peoples attention from Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamis administrative failure and corruption at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Stalin said it was highly condemnable and a shame that the government had resorted to an early morning arrest. The action of the government is atrocious since it has decided to make the arrest three months after Mr. Bharthi made a speech in a closed hall meeting. He had already given a clarification and expressed regret. It is a shame that Mr. Palaniswami has failed to respect the judiciary as two cases including a petition to quash the FIR is pending before the Madras High Court, Mr. Stalin said in a statement.
He felt that the government had targeted Mr. Bharathi because the latter had submitted petitions to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) against the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Municipal Administration Minister S. P. Velumani. Mr Bharathi also submitted a complaint with detailed evidence on the irregularities in the tender process in the Chief Ministers National Highways department, Mr. Stalin charged.
Reiterating that the DMK had been working for the welfare and social justice of the SC/STs, Mr. Stalin said this childish and half-baked action of the government and its ring masters could not denigrate the contribution of the DMK. The DMK has seen midnight arrests and it will not be cowed down by such actions of Mr. Palaniswami, a puppet in the hands of Centre, he said.
Mr. Stalin said the Chief Minister could not suppress the fact that it had failed to contain the pandemic in Chennai and stood thoroughly exposed. I warn that it cannot abdicate its moral responsibility, he said
MDMK general secretary Vaiko also said the AIADMK government had arrested Mr. Bharathi because it could not find solutions to thousands of problems staring at it in the time of the pandemic.
The intention of Mr. Bharathi was not to denigrate the SC/STs, but to explain the contribution made by the DMK government for the welfare of those communities, he contended.
Mr. Vaiko said Mr. Bharathi had been doing the duty of the Opposition by exposing the corrupt practices of the government and filing cases in the court.
The AIADMK government thinks that it can strangle the voice of the Opposition by its dictatorial actions. Its days are numbered, he said.