Chennai, Mar 4: MDMK founder Vaiko today lashed out at both AIADMK and DMK on the issue of release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, charging Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with trying to get 'political mileage' on the matter.
He also charged DMK President M Karunanidhi with trying to 'hoodwink' people on the issue, claiming that his government was not earlier favourably disposed to mercy petitions filed by three of the convicts--Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan.
While the state government can release all seven of them including Nalini using Article 161 of the Constitution, Jayalalithaa "has written a letter to Centre through the Chief Secretary," he said in a statement.
"People are aware that this is an attempt to gain political mileage and hoodwink (them)," he said. Tamil Nadu government had informed Centre of its decision to release V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini, and sought its views on the matter as is required in certain cases before taking action.
Slamming DMK, which had backed the state government's decision to release the seven, Vaiko claimed that the Karunanidhi-led party never made attempts to set them free while in power.
In the past, when Nalini, Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan had filed mercy petitions, the then DMK government had allowed clemency for Nalini citing Congress President Sonia Gandhi's support, but had "rejected" that of the others, Vaiko said.
The three persons had susbequently petitioned the President, he added. "But he (Karunanidhi) seems to believe that people will forget all these and now supports the demand for the release of all the seven. He is good at such hoodwinking tactics," Vaiko said.