Chennai: Taking on the Jayalalithaa government, Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday led a state-wide protest on the power crisis and questioned its claims about the state being 'peaceful'. "It is unfortunate that she (Jayalalithaa) has claimed the law and order situation is good," the 88-year-old Karunanidhi said, addressing partymen who shouted slogans against the government.
Listing various incidents of crime during the 19-month old All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) rule, he said 928 murders had been recorded during this period and "she claims this is a peaceful" state. The DMK chief was apparently referring to Jayalalithaa's commending the law and order situation at the conference of District Collectors and Police officers on Monday where she said there were no major issues threatening public stability.
"She describes her rule as peaceful with 928 murders alone in the one and half years (of her government)... there cannot be a more unfortunate situation for the state and its people," he said. During the same period, he said 768 incidents of burglary besides nearly 800 cases of chain-snatching and waylaying were also reported.
He alleged that the prevailing power cut situation had rendered streetlights useless and criminals therefore were emboldened to resort to chain-snatching. In an apparent reference to the host of defamation cases filed against opposition party leaders including himself, he said Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar had said a government which fails to listen to opposition or opposing voices will find itself on the decline.
"This protest is aimed at (the rulers) keeping that in mind," he said. He also charged the ruling AIADMK with "targeting" his partymen, scores of whom including former Ministers and sitting MLAs have been arrested on land grab charges, but said his party was not deterred by them.