CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu’s political class took a cautious approach in its reaction to the conviction of AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case on Saturday. While most political leaders refrained from overtly declaring pleasure overt the verdict, a number of them sought the commitment of the President, the Governor and the State government machinery in the maintenance of law and order in the State.
Most political leaders restrained themselves from immediate reactions as news trickled out over the verdict, and some waited for the pronouncement of the sentence. Jayalalithaa’s nemesis, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, maintained a low profile and did not issue a public statement on the matter. Instead, he wrote a letter to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Union Home Minister, Tamil Nadu Governor, Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, urging them for steps to ensure the maintenance of law and order in the State.
Jayalalithaa’s former ally, DMDK chieftain Vijayakant, said the verdict would serve to force corrupt politicians to mend their ways. State Congress president B S Gnanadesikan, claiming that the Congress was a party of honest politicians, called on the perpetrators of violence to realise that their actions were affecting the public. MDMK chief Vaiko issued a statement hailing the verdict as a warning bell for corrupt politicians. PMK founder S Ramadoss, however, took on a more critical tone of the incidents of the day and demanded that the forces of the Centre and State act to curb incidents of violence.