In politically significant visit, EPS leaves for Delhi, to meet PM, Amit Shah

Last Modified Monday, 18 January 2021 (12:48 IST)
Chennai: With the crucial Assembly elections round the corner, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, in a politically significant visit, on Monday left for New where he would be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
In his first visit to the National capital post-pandemic after the ruling AIADMK confirmed its alliance with the BJP for the Assembly polls, Mr Palaniswami was expected to discuss a host of issues concerning the state, apart from seat sharing talks.
Politics was also expected to take the centre stage during the visit.Though reports said his two-day visit was mainly to invite Mr Modi to inaugurate the grand memorial for late AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa being built on the Marina beach front and various infra projects in the State, sources said the
 
Chief Minister would discuss the present political situation in Tamil Nadu with the senior leaders of the saffron party.After the AIADMK announced that Mr Palaniswami would be the CM candidate for the polls, being held in the absence of two tall leaders Ms Jayalaithaa and former DMK Chief M Karunanidhi, the BJP initially said a decision on this would be announced by the party high command.
 
However, BJP National Secretary and in-charge C T Ravi sought to put a lid on the issue saying the AIADMK is the major partner in the alliance and it would decide on the CM candidate.
 
Apart from the alliance and seat sharing issues, the issue of the likely release of Jayalalithaa's close-aide and expelled former AIADMK interim secretary V K Sasikala on January 27 was also expected to come up for discussions during the visit.
 
The issue of the release of seven life convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is also expected to come up for discussions. Though the State Cabinet had adopted a resolution for their release under Article 161 of the Constitution on September 9, 2018 and forwarded the same to Governor Banwarilal Purohit for his assent, the Raj Bhavan was still take a decision on the issue.
 
This has caused much heartburn among the Opposition parties, including the DMK and AIADMK's ally, the PMK, who questioned the prolonged delay on the part of Raj Bhavan in deciding on their release. The State Cabinet had on September nine, 2018, adopted a resolution recommending to the Governor to release all the seven convicts under Article 161 of the Constitution.
 
The decision to release all the seven convicts was taken in line with the September six, 2018 Supreme Court order.Based on the Apex Court order, which had asked the Governor to consider the mercy plea of Perarivalan for premature release, the Cabinet had recommended to the Governor to release all the convicts under Article 161 of Constitution.
 
A Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Naveen Sinha and K M Joseph had on disposed of a plea filed by the Centre opposing the State government's proposal for the release of the convicts, and asked the Governor to consider the mercy plea of Perarivalan.
 
The Raj Bhavan had on September 15, 2018 said a just and fair decision would be taken in accordance with the Constitution.It said this was a complex case and involves examination of
legal, administration and Constitutional issues and the papers would be processed scrupulously.
 
'The case is a complex one and involves the examination of legal, administrative and Constitutional issues', the Raj Bhavan had said.
 
Later, when the issue was taken to the Court, the State government said it had got a reply from the Raj Bhavan that it was waiting for the final report of the MDMA which was probing the larger conspiracy angle in the case.
 
In the meantime, the CBI told the Supreme Court that one of the convicts A G Perarivalan has nothing to do with the MDMA probe and his release.
 
Welcoming it, PMK Founder Dr S Ramadoss urged Mr Purohit to expedite the release of the convicts.'Since CBI itself has informed that there is no link between the MDMA probe and Perarivalan's release, the Governor, without delaying citing frivolous reasons, should take an expeditious decision on the release of the seven convicts', he said.
 
In its 24-page affidavit filed before the Apex Court, the CBI said it was entirely left to Mr Purohit to decide on releasing Perarivalan. Stating that it has no role whatsoever in the issue, the CBI said the question of remission is wholly between Mr Purohit and Perarivalan.
 
“It is for the office of His Excellency Governor of Tamil Nadu to take a call on the issue of whether remission is to be granted...So far as relief in the present matter is concerned, CBI has no role,” it said.

The CBI said Perarivalan is “not the subject matter of the further investigation carried out by the MDMA”.“The further investigation conducted by the MDMA is only limited to the mandate provided by the Jain Commission Report, which had recommended further probe into the killing of Rajiv Gandhi.
 
The CBI also clarified that it did not receive any request from the Governor’s office to divulge the status or details of the investigation. In November 24 last year, Opposition DMK President
M K Stalin petitioned the Governor seeking the release of the seven life convicts citing the CBI's submission in the Supreme Court.
 
In a letter, which was handed over to Mr Purohit by Mr Stalin at the Raj Bhavan, he said the DMK has been continuously demanding the release of seven convicts--Nalini, V.Sriharan alias Murugan, Santhan,
 
A.G.Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Pyas and P.Ravichandran--who were undergoing the long endless agony of imprisonment for about 30 years.(UNI)