Reflecting its President M Karunanidhi’s long-stated position, DMK Sunday pitched for abolition of death sentence, emphasising that capital punishment would “neither eradicate nor reduce” crimes.
A resolution adopted on the second and concluding day of the party’s tenth state conference here pointed out that death sentence had been struck off the statute book in 140 nations.
Noting that the government had so far not acted on the persistent pleas against capital punishment, it said the DMK President had also been insisting on abolishing death sentence “which can only take away lives in an inhuman manner”.
“Change of heart is needed for eradicating crime and death penalty will not be an appropriate solution to this. Hence, the Centre must bring amendments to the law to end death penalty,” it said.
The DMK resolution assumes significance in the backdrop of persistent pleas for commuting the death penalty of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
Another resolution demanded that India move a separate resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meet next month for an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka in 2009, besides its backing to the US resolution.
It also wanted a UN-monitored referendum to be conducted in Sri Lanka to allow the Tamils there to evolve a political solution for themselves.
Accusing the Central government of adopting different yardsticks on imposing service tax on storage of rice and cotton while leaving out wheat, yet another resolution demanded withdrawal of the levy.
Other resolutions urged the Centre to find ways and means to waive the educational loans of students, start afresh the controversial Sethusamudram shipping channel project and linking of rivers, protection of Tamil Nadu fishermen from attacks by Sri Lankan Navy and opposed Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade.
Addressing the conference, DMK Treasurer and Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin lambasted the AIADMK government for “failure” to implement any of its electoral assurances, from ending power cuts to taking up mono rail project.
Describing it as “mere announcement government”, he said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had assured to end power cut within six months of coming to power in 2011, but even three years later the situation was the same.
He also charged the government with neither taking up any new projects nor expediting those planned by the previous DMK regime.
Alleging that the law and order situation in the state was worsening, he said crimes, including murder and burglaries, were taking place almost every day.
He criticised the “Amma mineral water” project, saying it was a shame that the government was selling water.
“Nowhere else in the country, water had been made a saleable commodity by any government.”
He alleged that the government had also not completed several infrastructure projects, including the Rs 1,200 crore Madhuravayal Expressway project.
Referring to the latest budget presented by the AIADMK government, he said while the state was facing downtrend in both agricultural and industrial productivity due to power problem, it was “ignorance” to expect five per cent economic development as stated in the budget.