Union Shipping Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, has left both the government and the opposition in Tamil Nadu fuming with his latest comments on law and order in the state. Addressing a meeting organised by Hindu outfits and BJP in Coimbatore, the minister said that Tamil Nadu was turning into a training center for extremists.
The comments were made at event to pay homage to those killed in serial bomb blasts in the city in 1998. 19 bombs had exploded across the city shortly before BJP leader LK Advani was to address a public meeting at R S Puram .
“Tamil Nadu is definitely not a haven of peace. It is only a training ground for various fundamentalist organizations,” said the Minister. “Naxalites, Maoists, Tamil extremists and Islamic terrorists have joined hands against the administration, which was evident during the jallikattu agitation last year,” he claimed. He then went on to claim that these forces were engaged in long term planning for the next 10 to 20 years and that it was not known if the administration and police department were aware.
“For Tamil Nadu to be that way maybe the minister’s wish, so that the BJP can penetrate into the state,” says former MP and AIADMK spokesperson KC Palaniswami. “They want to fulfil their aspirations of gaining political grounds. But we will not give such scope. Tamil Nadu maintains law and order much better than any BJP ruled state,” he added.
The AIADMK leader further said that if the Minister possessed any information about a security threat, it was his duty to pass it on to central agencies who would then inform the Tamil Nadu police.
The DMK meanwhile demands that minister provide proof of his claims or apologise for the ‘irresponsible statement’.
“This is clearly an attempt to ferment communal tension. They think they can polarise Tamil Nadu but that will not happen. We are inherently a peace loving and tolerant state,” says A Saravanan, spokesperson for the DMK.