TIRUCHY: Call it the lesson learnt during the pro-jallikattu protest held across the State last month, the DMK’s hunger strike against the alleged manhandling of its MLAs in TN Assembly saw the party giving them a warm reception.
Unlike the previous protests, Wednesday’s event saw the organisers earmarking a couple of boxes exclusively for students and youth. As soon as the hunger strike began at Thennur Uzhavar Sandhai grounds, students and youth were made to sit in the area allotted to them. Close to a dozen of students and youth, including the organisers of the pro-jallikattu protest, were given an opportunity to speak about the political situation in the State.
“Apart from protesting for the conduct of jallikattu to save our tradition, time has ripened for saving the State from ongoing political uncertainty. Students should come forward to protest misrule as we have already proved what the power of unity can do,” Santhosh, a second-year arts and science student in the city college, told the gathering.
In his address, Stalin levelled a series of charges against the State government and also AIADMK rebel O Panneerselvam regarding the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Asking why Panneerselvam was silent for months and why he levelled allegations only when there was an imminent threat to his office, Stalin assured that the DMK would order a judicial probe into the death of the former Chief Minister if it returned to power.
“After his resignation under duress and after meditating at Jayalalithaa’s memorial, Panneerselvam pitched for a judicial probe into the former Chief Minister’s death. Why was the former finance minister and rebel MLA silent prior to his resignation? The present government of ‘Edappadi’ K Palanisamy will not sustain, and soon the DMK will assume power. Once that happens, our first announcement would be about ordering a judicial probe into Jayalalithaa’s death,” Stalin said.
Further, Stalin said secret ballot should have been used for floor test akin to general elections, where voters choose their representatives in full secrecy.
The DMK working president lauded the efforts of organisers for making separate seating arrangement for students close to the dais. He also personally greeted the students and youth, who mostly aligned with the DMK’s leadership.
He said he had secured an appointment with Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday, wherein he would submit a memorandum seeking the President’s intervention on the issue of the trust vote.
Being a party that upholds the ideals of its founder C N Annadurai, the DMK would never opt for backdoor entry to the seat of power, he said. “We did not wish or try to get the Assembly dissolved during the political unrest. If we had decided, we could have pulled down the AIADMK government, but we did not,” he said.
Seeking clarity on the number of Tasmac outlets closed and to be closed, Stalin said the State government should release a white paper on the same.
Speaking about the presence of youth, IUML leader Khader Moideen, who was also present, said, “It is usually the adults and teachers who would teach lessons to students. But the youth of today have taught the elders lessons on social responsibility that we should keep by making the pro-jallikattu protest a huge success.”