BJP targets Jayalalithaa over deaths at election rallies

PTI4_18_2016_000260B Jayalalithaa along with her party's candidates addressing an election campaign rally in Kancheepuram | PTI
  • Four people who had attended Jayalalithaa's two rallies - at Virudhachalam and Salem- lost their lives due to heat

Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Saturday wondered why human rights organisations, the Election Commission and others are "silent" on the deaths of people at election rallies addressed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

"It is strange why human rights organisations and the Election Commission are silent on the deaths that occurred at election rallies addressed by Jayalalithaa. People in large numbers are ferried to attend Jayalalithaa's meetings and are housed like cattle inside an enclosure," Pon Radhakrishnan, minister of state for road transport and highways and shipping, told reporters here on Saturday. Nagercoil is around 710 km from Chennai.

Four people who had attended Jayalalithaa's two rallies - at Virudhachalam and Salem- lost their lives due to heat.

A large section of the crowd was either brought to the rally ground in trucks and buses or had come on their own from nearby areas.

Radhakrishnan also wondered why no action has been taken against organisers of the AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa's two election rallies where the deaths had taken place.

Queried about political parties changing their candidates, the Lok Sabha member from Kanyakumari, Pon Radhakrishnan said if the changes are made due to genuine reasons -family circumstances of the candidates - then it is understandable.

"But like a game of chess the political parties are replacing the candidates," he remarked.

Ruling AIADMK, DMK and PMK have announced new candidates in the place of the names announced earlier.

Asked about DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin offering prayers at the Mel Maruvathur Adi Parasakthi temple recently, Pon Radhakrishnan said: "I hope one of these days he will do the `anga pradakshanam' (rolling on the ground in that temple)."

On the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prospects in the Kanyakumari district, he said: "We are confident of winning all the six seats."

Party cadres are also upbeat about BJP's prospects in the six assembly constituencies in Kanyakumari district.

The BJP is contesting in 156 assembly constituencies in the May 16 election of the total 234 seats. The balance is shared with its allies.

He said the proposed port in Colachel in Kanyakumari district will change the economic position of the people in the region.

"The Congress and the DMK are betraying the interests of the people by opposing the project," he charged.

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