Will Rajapaksa revelations bring tremors in TN politics?

By M Bharat Kumar Published on Sep 15, 2018 12:41 PM IST

Chennai: Tamilnadu politics had always centred around the ethnic issue in the neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Though the long-fought civil war ended in the island nation and peace was restored, the aftershocks of the bitter battle still haunt many. Its effect is always felt in Tamilnadu especially during elections.

At a time when everything was seen as done and dusted, the pandora's box was opened by the Supreme Court recently.

In its recent order on the issue of releasing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts, the apex court, said, 'According to Article 161, the Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardon, reprieve, respite or remission of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.'

Down with intra-party wranglings and series of raids by multiples agencies of Central government on charges of corruption, the State government chose to take up the issue to get a breather.

The AIADMK government had on 9 September recommended to the Governor to release the convicts, a move hailed by most political parties in the State.

On his part, after consulting legal experts, Banwarilal Purohit has sent to MHA the State government’s recommendation.

Considered a smart move by the State government, which may push the main opposition DMK behind, this has already created friction in Tamilnadu Congress with views differing between its State unit president S Thirunavukkarasar and senior leader EVKS Elangovan.

With general elections round the corner and 39 seats up for grabs in Tamilnadu, the party that handles the Lankan issue well is bound to get mileage at the ballot, say political observors.

Speaking to ‘News Today’, Ravikumar, a senior political commentator, says,”Today's reports in a section of the media have former Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa revealing Indian government's (UPA headed by Manmohan Singh) all-round support helped them defeat LTTE in the last stage of war. This has stirred the hornets' nest. DMK which is a key ally of the Congress was part of the Central government then. Now a lots of tough questions will be raised. And at a time when alliances being worked out to face forthcoming polls, this Rajapakse bombshell would have a serious impact in political developments here.”

The battle lines may be redrawn. But the war will be the same, he adds.