Chennai, Nov. 20: Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu today demanded chief minister Jayalalithaa’s resignation following the Supreme Court rap on her regime for the manner in which trial in the assets cases against her had proceeded in a special court here.
DMK president M. Karunanidhi said Jayalalithaa should “accept moral responsibility” for the apex court’s indictment of the “subverted” judicial process in the state. The court transferred two disproportionate assets cases involving the Tamil Nadu chief minister to a special court in Karnataka.
Leading the Opposition charge, former finance minister and leader of the Congress Jananayaga Peravai (CJP) P. Chidambaram said Jayalalithaa’s continuation as chief minister was “morally unacceptable” after the Supreme Court virtually accused her of attempting to derail the judicial process.
Given the nature of the strictures passed by the apex court, it is up to Madras High Court to consider whether action should be taken against the judge of the special court in Chennai, he said.
PMK leader S. Ramadoss termed the developments as a “shame on Tamil Nadu”. It was the first time that a corruption case involving people in high places was transferred from one state to another, he added.
In the Best Bakery case in Gujarat, Ramadoss said, chief minister Narendra Modi was not directly involved. “But in this case, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu is the prime accused.”
The BJP, however, reacted with caution. Senior state leader and the party’s all-India secretary Ela Ganesan said: “There is nothing to criticise or be jubilant about…Cases have been transferred from one high court to another in the past.”
It would be “ideal” if corruption cases involving people in high offices were automatically transferred to courts outside the concerned states, he said. A “permanent remedy”, the BJP leader said, was the institution of independent bodies like the Lok Pal at the central level and the Lok Ayuktas at the state level to hear corruption charges against the Prime Minister, the governors and chief ministers. “The (efforts to institute) Lok Pal is still in the bill stage and we hope to enact the legislation in the next session of Parliament,” said Ganesan.
In a minor concession to the BJP, the DMK today postponed its December 1 agitation in front of central and state government offices demanding withdrawal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Karunanidhi said in a statement party secretaries at the district and taluk levels had urged for the postponement of the agitation to December 15 in view of the electoral rolls revision in the first two weeks of December.