CHENNAI -- Facing opposition flak over the arrest of a folk singer campaigning against liquor in Tamil Nadu, ruling AIADMK today charged him with making "unsavoury remarks" about "a Chief Minister" and hinted that inaction would mean it could set a precedence to target any head of state in the future.
In a strongly-worded article, AIADMK mouthpiece Dr Namathu MGR slammed opposition parties including DMK for criticising singer Kovan's arrest, saying they were doing it for political survival.
He "will criticise a Chief Minister (J Jayalalithaa) with unsavoury remarks; record it and spread it in social media like a virus and if action is taken against that, (opposition) will shout that democracy is affected," it said.
It said when action is taken for launching a "savage" personal attack against a Chief Minister (Jayalalithaa) in violation of legal principles and morality, political parties opposing it was not proper.
"If people scream that democracy has been affected due to this, then degrading Chief Ministers in the future in all sorts of unsavoury terms will become a norm," it said.
It also charged the 54-year-old folk artiste, Kovan of targeting the Chief Minister with "ulterior motive at the behest" of someone and asked if it was not an "insult" to crores of Tamil people who had voted for Jayalalithaa.
It said Kovan did not properly use "opportunities" provided by the Constitution of India to show his opposition.
The article also slammed DMK President M Karunanidhi for criticising the police action. He had termed the arrest as "AIADMK regime's anti-democratic action" and condemned it while demanding Kovan's immediate release.
It recalled that as Chief Minister when the Sri Lankan Tamils issue was at its peak in the state with emotions running high, Karunanidhi had used the state police to arrest activists and seize lot of related material.
It alleged that he had ridiculed the death of Tamil activist Muthukumar, who had set himself ablaze in connection with this issue.
Kovan, a propagandist singer of 'Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam' who was campaigning for closure of state-run liquor outlets (TASMAC), was arrested under sedition charges last week.
Opposition parties had criticised the police action and had sought his immediate release.
Meanwhile, about 100 activists of 'Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam' were arrested in the city who were trying to stage a protest here without permission over the arrest of Kovan, police said.
The activists demanded his immediate release, besides withdrawing the sedition charges against him.
The activists, who were carrying flags of their outfit, were held and lodged in a nearby marriage hall, police said.
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