The AIADMK’s interim general secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, on Monday accused the ruling party of staging a drama over the 10% quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) of the general category.
Answering questions from journalists regarding the party’s stand on the issue, he pointed out that it was when the DMK shared power with the Congress at the Centre that a commission was constituted during 2005-06 to examine the possibility of giving reservation to economically backward classes, and the panel had subsequently submitted its report.
Quoting former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, Mr. Palaniswami said the Congress-led regime had even readied a Bill on the subject. It would have been proper had the State government sought the views of others when cases were pending in the Supreme Court against the Constitutional amendment on EWS quota.
With the Constitution Bench of the Court giving its verdict [in favour of the quota], the DMK regime was “trying to wriggle itself” out of the issue by holding a meeting of leaders of legislature parties, he said. “We did not want to be a party to this drama,” he said, referring to the AIADMK’s absence from the meeting held on Saturday.
On the release of six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, he recalled that it was due to the efforts made by previous AIADMK regimes led by Jayalalithaa and, later, himself, that the convicts were released. He accused the ruling party of seeking to claim credit for their release, even though the DMK, while in power [in April 2000], decided to commute the death sentence for Nalini to a life sentence and keep intact the punishment awarded to others.