CHENNAI: Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar on Tuesday said the State government cannot set a time-frame for the Governor to decide on the recommendation made by the State Cabinet to release the seven convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case since he is a Constitutional authority. However, he expressed the hope that the Governor would give his nod for the release of the convicts.
“The recommendation of the State Cabinet reflects the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu. As such, we hope that the Governor will respect the wishes of the people,” the minister said answering queries of reporters here after inspecting the venue for the September 30 valedictory of the birth centenary of the late Chief Minister and AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran.
On the view of Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala that by recommending the release of the Rajiv murder case convicts, the Tamil Nadu government had adopted a soft approach towards terrorism, Jayakumar said, “The DMK is demanding the release of these convicts whereas its main alliance partner in Tamil Nadu is against it. So, DMK president MK Stalin should exert pressure on the Congress to accept the release of these convicts. If not, there is no need for the DMK to remain in alliance with the Congress. Obviously, it is an opportunism at display.”
Meanwhile, R Rajagopal, Secretary to the Governor, has returned to Chennai from Delhi.
Sources said that after sending the recommendation of the Cabinet to the Raj Bhavan on Sunday, the State government on Monday sent all files relevant to the release of these convicts to the Governor who, in turn, is expected to seek the legal view of the State Advocate General soon.
On the demand for reduction of VAT on petroleum products to reduce their prices in Tamil Nadu, the minister said, “As far as the AIADMK government is concerned, we cannot accept increasing the prices of petroleum products continuously. Though the Tamil Nadu government wishes to reduce the VAT, it has no revenue resources to do so. On the other hand, the Centre has many revenue resources to reduce the excise duty to bring down the prices of petroleum products across the country.”