Congress opposes Tamil Nadu CM's appeal to remit life sentences of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts

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Congress Tamil Nadu state president KS Azhagiri. (Photo/ANI)
Congress Tamil Nadu state president KS Azhagiri. (Photo/ANI)

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 21 (ANI): The Congress on Friday expressed its opposition to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin's request for the remission of the life sentences of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

State party president KS Azhagiri paid tributes to the former Prime Minister at the Sathyamoorthy Bhavan on his 30th death anniversary and said that Gandhi had always worked for country's growth and prosperity.

He said there should not be "political pressure" for release of prisoners.

"We oppose Chief Minister MK Stalin's stand that Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts should be released. Rajiv Gandhi shed his blood, uplifted our country and worked for its growth. He is known for ushering technological development and strengthening of the country's defence," Azhagiri said.

"No prisoners can be released on the basis of religion, language or anything. It will create unrest and disturb law and order. We are not against the release of prisoners. 26 persons were arrested and 19 released.

We did not object to that since it was the court's judgement. DMK in its election manifesto promised to release Rajiv Gandhi assassination case prisoners and it is their stand. We are firm in our stand that they should be not be released. If court wants to release an accused, Congress will accept it. There should be no political pressure," hesaid.

Congress members paid floral tribute to the former Prime Minister at Sathyamoorthy Bhavan, which is the state Congress headquarters, in Chennai.

Stalin had written to President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday to accept the state government's recommendation of September 2018 and pass orders to remit the life sentences of all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

In the letter, Stalin asked the President to give directions for their immediate release and argued that the convicts have been "undergoing the agony of imprisonment for about three decades".

"The majority of political parties in Tamil Nadu have been requesting the remission of the remainder of their sentences and for the immediate release of all the seven convicts... This is also the will of the people of Tamil Nadu," he wrote.

Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally.

Congress was part of DMK-led alliance that won the assembly elections in the state. The results were announced on May 2. (ANI)

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