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Launching a sharp attack on DMK President M Karunanidhi for his remarks that the ban on NDTV India could lead to a “second Emergency”, BJP today asked why he had “forgotten” the Emergency imposed by the Congress government in 1975 when DMK had formed coalition with the party. BJP’s state unit President Tamilisai Sounderrajan slammed Karunanidhi for saying that the one-day ban amounted to violation of freedom of expression, referring to the infamous Dinakaran newspaper office burning incident in Madurai in 2007 when he was Chief Minister.
“Why Kalaignar (Karunanidhi), who talks of a second Emergency in the context of the ban on a TV channel, has forgotten the memories of Emergency while aligning with Congress,” she said in a Twitter post in Tamil.
She was apparently referring to the arrest of many DMK leaders, including its Treasurer and former Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin, under the stringent Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during Emergency, who were also allegedly assaulted inside prison.
DMK had aligned with Congress-led UPA in 2004, before walking out of the coalition in 2013 on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, even as the two parties patched up and joined hands for the May 2016 Assembly polls.
In another tweet, she took potshots at Karunanidhi on the Dinakaran office attack which had left three persons dead, besides the one on another Tamil daily during the DMK regime.
She questioned him why this freedom of expression did not “come to your mind when Dinakaran (office) was burnt”. In context of freedom of expression, she insisted that the country’s security was paramount.
In 2007, sibling rivalry in then ruling DMK had turned violent after supporters of Alagiri attacked Dinakaran office and set it afire while protesting against a controversial survey published by the Maran family-owned newspaper, showing a majority preferred Stalin over the Madurai strongman as Karunanidhi’s ‘possible political heir’.
Yesterday, Karunanidhi had described as “violation of freedom of expression” the one-day ban on NDTV India over the Pathankot attack broadcast and said that if such instances continue “it will lead to a second Emergency in the country”.