CHENNAI: A day after DMK chief Karunanidhi said steps would be taken for imposing prohibition in Tamil Nadu if his party was voted to power, PMK and BJP today lashed out at that party for lifting the ban while in power and accused it of "ruining" generations.
PMK chief Ramadoss, in a scathing attack, alleged that Karunanidhi chose to voice support for prohibition eyeing the assembly elections scheduled for next year.
"The obvious reason (for making the proposal) is that elections are coming in eight months," he said, adding, "it sounded like an appeal for clemency to me.".
"It was Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) who scrapped the total prohibition that was in vogue since 1948 and led Tamil Nadu to the present appalling situation," he said.
Toeing a similar line, BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan said, "It is surprising, he did not bring in prohibition while in power and now says that he will try to do it if voted to power."
She wanted to know if Karunanidhi's demand for prohibition was linked to "polls or for the betterment of the people."
The PMK chief recalled that when Karunanidhi decided to scrap prohibition in 1971, a 'shocked Rajaji'(veteran Congress leader C Rajagopalachari) "begged" with the DMK leader, then Chief Minister, not to do so.
"I remember vividly that Kalaignar not only rejected his request but made a mockery of him by saying 'he met me with a recommendation' and went ahead to remove prohibition. When a whole generation of Tamil Nadu lived without smelling alcohol, it was Kalaignar who introduced them to liquor and ruined them and their generations," Ramadoss said in a statement.
The BJP unit chief also mocked at the DMK supremo saying, "Karunanidhi is also in a stage (now) to seek apology for creating a society of chronic drinkers."
"Karunanidhi's opinion (supporting prohibition) is correct, however, there is suspicion as he has said this all of a sudden," she said.
BJP would intensify initiatives like protests to press for prohibition, she added.
Recalling PMK's efforts seeking dry days, Ramadoss accused Karunanidhi of not implementing an assurance given to his party that prohibition would be in place in stages.
"If Kalaignar has true commitment, let him first close the alcohol manufacturing units of DMK men then talk about prohibition," he said, adding "the people will not believe Karunanidhi's words."
Yesterday, Karunanidhi had said for the first time in several decades that steps will be taken for imposing prohibition to ensure social change and betterment.