Amid renewed calls for the release of the seven persons convicted of killing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami on Monday said the AIADMK government is committed to their release and the Governor will have to take a call.
Speaking to reporters, Palaniwami referred to the September 2018 cabinet resolution in which a recommendation was made to Governor Banwarilal Purohit to the release of the seven convicts – Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini.
All seven are serving life terms.
“We wanted the seven to be released and that is why adopted a cabinet resolution and sent it to the Governor. The Governor has to decide (on the matter),” he said.
Palaniswami added that his government “decision based on public sentiment”.
“We took the decision based on public sentiment, adopted a cabinet resolution and sent it to Governor. We hope he will take action,” he added.
Tamil groups and various opposition leaders have intensified calls for the release of the seven convicts especially after the Supreme Court earlier this month disposed of a plea against their release by the family members of the other victims of the 1991 incident in which Rajiv Gandhi was killed.
The kin had challenged the Tamil Nadu government’s earlier decision in 2014 to release the seven convicts.
Gandhi was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber during an election rally at Sriperumpudur near here on 21 May 1991.
Meanwhile, Palaniswami also termed exit polls as “karuthu kanippu” or a forced opinion.
Exit polls conducted by various agencies after the conclusion of Lok Sabha elections on Sunday predicted the DMK-led alliance to win a major number of seats in Tamil Nadu.
“Exit polls after the 2016 Assembly elections, predicted my defeat but I won. The AIADMK won 10 seats in Salem,” he said in Salem.
“So, who will win will be known on 23 May. The AIADMK-led alliance will win the Lok Sabha polls and also the Assembly by-elections,” he said.
The AIADMK fought the Lok Sabha elections as an NDA ally.