Congress keeps silence on Karunakaran poem on LTTE leader

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) Apparently fearing political fall-out, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) today distanced itself from the poem penned by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi mourning the death of LTTE political wing leader S P Thamilselvan, saying that what he had said was his "personal view".

AICC Spokesman Jayanthi Natarajan, however, said the Congress did not subscribe to these views and that the LTTE was a banned outfit in India.

The entire country would remember the terrible assassination of one of the greatest leaders of the country by the LTTE. "We will not eulogise terrorism in any form. We will not forget the action perpetrated by the LTTE." "We stand by our views. He (Mr Karunanidhi) stands by his views," she said repeatedly, while refusing to answer any of the questions relating to Mr Karunanidhi.

"The stand of the Congress is clear. Our fundamental demand is that the perpetrators of assassination of Rajiv Gandhi should be punished," Ms Natarajan, who was accompanying the former Prime Minister on the day his assassination by suicide bombers of LTTE at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, in 1991, said at the routine media briefing.

About the official stand of the Congress on the issue as DMK was part of the UPA Government at the Centre, Ms Natarajan said she had already said what she wanted to say.

On AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa's remarks that the poem by the Chief Minister was unconstitutional, Ms Natarajan said her own allies were doing the same. "Her allies had more or less said the same," she added, apparently in reference to the pro-LTTE stand of the MDMK.

Asked to comment on Ms Jayalalithaa calling on TNCC President M Krishnasamy at the Chennai Apollo Hospitals where he was recuperating from a stab injury sustained at Ramanathapuram district last week, Ms Natarajan said "in a political democracy, one political leader visiting another leader, who was injured, is a normal courtesy and, therefore, it could be viewed as such.

UNI

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