DMK chief Stalin slams BJP over activists’ arrests

Chennai: DMK condemned the arrest of five Left-wing activists as a reflection of an ‘authoritarian’ mindset by the BJP-led NDA government, saying dissent was essential to democracy.

In a series of tweets, party President M K Stalin also vowed to dislodge the BJP-led NDA and AIADMK governments at the Centre and Tamilnadu, respectively.

“The brazen attempt by the Union Govt to imprison its critics reflects an authoritarian mindset that disregards civil rights,” he said, a day after accusing the BJP-led government of attempting to ‘saffronise’ the country.

Also, he said, “the space for dissent is essential to every democracy. I urge the Govt to drop all such unconstitutional actions immediately. #DefendDissent.”

The Maharashtra Police has arrested five Left-wing activists yesterday as part of a probe into the violence between Dalits and upper caste Peshwas at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on 31 December last year.

The arrests have drawn widespread condemnation by several political leaders. Stalin, who took over as DMK president yesterday, said “the goal,” of his party was to dislodge the BJP government at the Centre, which he claimed was weakening the country in every sphere of activity, be it socio-political or others.

Accusing the AIADMK government of losing “self-respect,” and “pledging the state’s rights,” he said defeating both the governments at the hustings was his party’s goal.

“Let us win polls and make it an offering to Kalaignar,” he said. DMK had been consistently targeting the AIADMK of being “subervient” to the Centre after the death of its supremo Jayalalithaa and compromising on the rights of Tamilnadu.