Besides the release of AG Perarivalan, if you turn pages, you would find the ongoing debate in Tamil Nadu with the mixed reactions over Chief Minister MK Stalin's conduct of hugging Perarivalan. AG Perarivalan was one of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and he was set free on May 18, 2022, by a historical verdict of the Supreme Court, after spending three decades in prison.
Perarivalan's release, caused by the Governor's delay in responding to the recommendation of releasing him, has been celebrated by several people across and beyond the borders. When MK Stalin came to the office, he told that his government would take steps to secure Perarivalan's release. Now 50-year-old Perarivalan had already been on bail since March and his acquittal had poured a ray of hope on the rest of the six convicts in the case.
MK Stalin was one of the first-in-line leaders to welcome the apex court's verdict of releasing Perarivalan. He had even spoken with Perarivalan's mother Arputhammal over the phone and shared his wishes for her for winning her victory in getting his son released. On May 18, 2022, hours after the release, Perarivalan had met Chief Minister MK Stalin along with his family at the Chennai Airport where the latter was preparing for his trip to the Nilgiris.
MK Stalin had welcomed Perarivalan by hugging him and he had friendly chat with the former convict. The Chief Minister had also shared his welcome with an apparent hug on social media and it had spurred a debate on whether Stalin's conduct was right. While some argue that the Chief Minister had hugged Perarivalan after the latter's complete release, a certain group of people contradict the notion and had claimed that Perarivalan is an assassin and the Chief Minister shouldn't have hugged him.
As this event has been on the debate, the Tamil Nadu BJP unit has brought the Congress party into the picture. Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai said that MK Stalin has set a bad example by hugging Perarivalan. Annamalai has cited that the DMK is glorifying the release of Perarivalan. Speaking to the reporters in Chennai, Annamalai said the death sentence of four of the convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, including Perarivalan, had been confirmed by the Supreme Court.
He said, "But as remissions followed and there were multiple rounds, the Supreme Court has given an extraordinary judgement which is given in a special case. Seventeen people died along with Rajiv Gandhi on a fatal day. The deceased included eight police personnel. The BJP, which accepts the SC judgement, has been firm on the stand that all seven convicts are grave offenders." Annamalai has stated that the convicts aren't martyrs to be glorified.
"There are thousands of people in Tamil Nadu who can be glorified. Hence, the DMK and party president and Chief Minister MK Stalin has set a very bad example by giving an extraordinary welcome to Perarivalan. Let Perarivalan live his life, but the Chief Minister should not set a wrong example", Annamalai added. Drawing the Congress party into the picture, Annamalai said that the Congress party had shown a double act.
He said that the party had shown its opposition to the release of Perarivalan by tying white clothes across mouths. But, Congress then goes to the DMK and begs for Rajya Sabha seats. Along with Annamalai, actor-turned-BJP leader Khushbu Sundar had also slammed the Congress party for not condemning DMK and MK Stalin for his hugging welcome to Perarivalan. She further asked whether the Congress party is ready to break its alliance with the DMK after the latter had shown respect to Perarivalan, whom the Congress was opposing.
Taking to Twitter, Khushbu wrote, "You have MK Stalin hugging Perarivalan after his release and in the same breath, we have the Congress party accusing the BJP of playing politics. I challenge Congress to break its tie with DMK if they have an iota of shame left in them and condemn CM for his actions. Spineless cry shamelessly."
30 ஆண்டுகளுக்கும் மேலான சிறைவாசத்தை வென்று திரும்பியுள்ள சகோதரர் பேரறிவாளன் அவர்களைச் சந்தித்துக் கட்டியணைத்து நெகிழ்ந்தேன்!— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 18, 2022
சகோதரர் பேரறிவாளன் தனக்கென இல்லற வாழ்க்கையை அமைத்துக்கொண்டு மகிழ்ச்சியாக வாழ வேண்டுமென அவரையும் அற்புதம்மாள் அவர்களையும் கேட்டுக் கொண்டேன். pic.twitter.com/M0sOXsYkop