Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday said that she has always maintained that DMK was indirectly behind the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. She said that she has always lived under death threats while referring to the claims made by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) former international arms procurer and V Prabhakaran's right hand man, Kumaran Pathmanathan, that if the LTTE had a chance they would have killed her.
It's a disclosure from a former LTTE leader now in Sri Lankan government's custody that's come as the latest embarrassment for the DMK. Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP in an interview to CNN IBN-Firstpost.com claimed that LTTE chief Prabhakaran was influenced by the DMK's ideology and that may have led the LTTE Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.
"Actually you know still in Tamil Nadu, Periyar wanted Dravida Nadu meaning he wanted Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra separated from the north. This is the propaganda and he started the organisation. From this Dravidian politics emerged Annadurai and Karunanidhi. This ideology failed its course. This idea they passed to Prabhakaran. They influenced him with anti-Brahmin ideas. That's why he made all those blunders like that against Rajiv Gandhi," said Kumaran Padmanathan, Former LTTE arms procurer.
A day after that interview Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa immediately took political advantage and claimed that the DMK had an indirect role in the assassination. She also said that she continues to be on the LTTE's hitlist.
"I have been living with that death threat since 1991. And our charge has been that DMK has been involved in the assassination in an indirect way," said the AIADMK chief while addressing her first press conference in Chennai after taking over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
She revealed that followed the AIADMK alliance's massive victory in Tamil Nadu Assembly election she received a call from Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who congratulated her on the win.
"After my victory, Mrs Gandhi spoke to me and congratulated me on the victory," she said.
Commenting on the 2G spectrum scam case Jayalalithaa said that people's faith in judicial system has been restored following the arrest of some DMK leaders and top corporate executives.
"Finally the law is taking its course and people's faith in judicial system has been restored. The recent legal action in 2G has restored people's faith in the judiciary," she said
Taking a dig at the DMK and Kanimozhi, who has been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Jayalalithaa said that she (Kanimozhi) should not expect any special treatment because she is woman
"In politics you cannot expect any concession to be shown because you are a woman. Similarly when criminal aspects are concerned you cannot expect leniency because you are a woman," the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said.
While the historic links between the LTTE and India are well documented, virtually every party in Tamil Nadu including the Congress supported the Tamil tigers in the 1980s. But things changed after the Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and the DMK has often faced allegations of ideological proximity to the Tamil tigers and the Sri Lankan Tamil issue has often caused discomfort in the DMK-Congress relations. But the two sides have remained together despite the differences and assert that the issue will not disturb the alliance.
"We are extremely sensitive on issue of assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. There should be no attempt to politicise this event," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
The charges made by Jayalalithaa are not new and she had for long held an anti-LTTE stand until the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 when she had herself campaigned for the Sri Lankan Tamil cause. And observers believe that these charges made by her at this time are mere statements made to gain political advantage.