Thursday, July, 18,2024

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"Shocked with stoic silence maintained by Congress party" JP Nadda over Kallakurichi hooch tragedy

New Delhi: Union Minister and BJP national president JP Nadda wrote a letter to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in connection with the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy which claimed 57 lives in Tamil Nadu and said that he is "shocked" with the stoic silence maintained by the Congress party over this incident.
The BJP President said in his letter that he is not merely writing the letter in the capacity of the National President of the BJP but, more importantly, as a 'Bharatiya'.
He also invited Kharge to join their leaders for a black band protest against this "state sponsored disaster" in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi inside the Prerna Sthal within Parliament precincts.
"Hope this letter finds you in good health. It is with a very heavy heart. I write this letter to you, not merely in the capacity of the National President of BJP but, more importantly, as a Bharatiya. The ghastly images of burning funeral pyres, from Karunapuram village in Kallakurichi, Tamil Nadu, in the aftermath of Tamil Nadu's worst ever spurious liquor consumption tragedy, that has left 56 dead until now and almost 159 persons hospitalised, have shaken the conscience of the entire nation," he said.
Nadda said that the BJP, has not only extended full condolences and sympathies to the people of Tamil Nadu but has been providing utmost support to every distraught family.
"Visuals of crying women and children who have lost their husbands, sons and fathers have left everyone speechless. This is a human tragedy of enormous proportions, which words alone can never truly encapsulate. The BJP, being a sensitive party, has not only extended full condolences and sympathies to the people of Tamil Nadu during this period of mourning but has also been providing utmost support to every distraught family," he said.
"But even as we collectively mourn this great loss, I am constrained to acquaint you with a few shocking facts and circumstances, which perhaps could have helped in averting this mindless loss of innocent lives. And if, even at this stage, I dither from my moral obligation to present these facts before you for your cognizance and action, I would be failing in my responsibilities towards humanity as a whole," the BJP leader added.
Expressing concern over the hooch tragedy, Nadda called the incident a man-made disaster and said that the lives of the deceased would have saved if the nexus between DMK and INDIA bloc dispensation and illicit liquor mafia did not exist.
"Kharge ji the tragedy in Kallakurichi is entirely a man-made disaster and perhaps if the deep nexus between the ruling DMK-INDI Allaince dispensation and illicit liquor mafia did not exist, today 56 lives could have been saved. In May 2023, around 23 people had once again succumbed by consuming illicit liquor in Villupuram and Chengalpattu. At that time too, the BJP had cautioned the ruling DMK-INDI Alliance government of complicity and nexus between their functionaries and the illicit liquor mafia. But no attention was paid to our sincere exhortations," he said.
"May I remind you that in 2021, the Congress manifesto had detailed a plan for liquor prohibition in the state. Such lofty promises have been made by DMK-INDI Alliance too in the past. Ironically, your DMK-INDI Allaince government is now the biggest patroniser of illicit spurious liquor trade that has claimed hundreds of lives whenever you are in power," the BJP President added.
Hitting out at the DMK-led state government, Nadda said that when the disaster struck, instead of taking accountability and saving lives, the state administration was busy in trying to cover up.
"In the present case too, media and investigative reports so far have made it clear as to how this business of Illicit liquor was functioning with impunity, right in the open and during broad daylight, obviously with patronage from the state and police. When the disaster struck, instead of immediately taking accountability and saving lives, the state administration was busy in trying to cover up," he said.
Nadda targeted CM MK Stalin and said that his government continues to block a free and fair independent probe by opposing a CBI investigation.
"That cover up itself proved fatal and led to loss of more lives. There are documented accounts about how one of the main accused was let off by the police just a few days ago, perhaps because of his political patronage and corruption in the law and order system, of which there is proof too. In light of these incontrovertible facts coming to the public domain, can this be termed as anything other than a "state sponsored murder"? he said.
"I am sure you too with your vast experience in public life and administration, would reach the same conclusion as me. But what has been most disappointing is the brazen response of the DMK-INDI alliance government led by Thiru M K Stalin, who continues to be in complete denial. His government continues to block a free and fair independent probe by opposing a CBI investigation," the BJP leader added.
Nadda questioned the role of police or CB-CID alleging that when there is clear political patronage and nexus involved- will the true perpetrators ever be brought to justice by such a probe?
"Kharge ji when the police role itself is suspect can the Tamil Nadu police or CB-CID be trusted to investigate this fairly? When there is clear political patronage and nexus involved- will the true perpetrators ever be brought to justice by such a probe? Thiru Stalin instead of immediately asking his Minister for Excise and Prohibition Muthuswamy to step down has been stifling the opposition from raising its voice inside the Tamil Nadu Assembly and outside, which is our constitutional, democratic right," he said.
"Many BJP Tamil Nadu leaders have been prevented from raising their voice for justice and Nyay for these victims. Indeed, the muzzling of right of the opposition parties to raise this issue of public importance is a big assault not only on free speech but also on the Constitutional and democratic ethos of Bharat," Nadda wrote in his letter.
He further added, "Kharge ji, as you know Karunapuram is largely populated by the Scheduled Castes, who face several challenges due to poverty and discrimination in Tamil Nadu. In light of this, I was shocked that when such a huge disaster has taken place, the Congress party led by you, has maintained a stoic silence on this. Certain issues require us to rise above and beyond party lines and the welfare and safety of the SC, ST community is one such issue. Kharge ji today it is time to truly walk the talk on "Nyay" and not reduce it to a catchy campaign slogan, deployed for the launch of a failed political dynast. Today, the people of Tamil Nadu and the entire SC community are witnessing the double speak of the Congress party and particularly of Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the I.N.D.I. Alliance."
"Suddenly, all the sanctimonious preachings of Rahul Gandhi about Constitution and ensuring the welfare and rights of SC community have stopped. instead of taking action, DMK-INDI Alliance-Congress' ally Kamal Haasan, went and rubbed salt into the wounds of the victim's families by blaming them rather than the corrupt nexus of illicit liquor mafia and DMK-
INDI alliance functionaries," he said.
"He even alluded to giving people in the area "psychiatric counselling.". Instead of providing succour and relief, SC victims are being shamed by your allies. It is time to act Kharge ji. Empty words, peddling fake narratives, and hollow promises will not undo the Anyay heaped upon the SC victims and their families by the DMK-INDI Alliance government," Nadda added.
The BJP President in his letter to Kharge said that the nation wants him to press upon the Tamil Nadu government to go for a CBI probe and ensure the immediate removal of the Muthuswamy as minister.
"At this juncture, the BJP and the entire nation indeed demand that you press upon the DMK-INDI Alliance Tamil Nadu government to go for a CBI probe and ensure the immediate removal of the Thiru Muthuswamy as minister. We also demand on behalf of the victim's families that you enhance the compensation to a reasonable level that can ensure these families have adequate support. We seek that Thiru MK Stalin, who is Home Minister of Tamil Nadu as well, should visit the families and the area and ensure strict crackdown on corrupt officials rather than patronise and defend them brazenly," he said.
"We also urge you to pursue Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, to either pay a visit to the victim's families or at least muster the courage to raise their voice on this issue rather than maintaining a defeaning selective, hypocritical silence," Nadda added.
"Finally, there seems to be a penchant for illegal liquor business and Sharab Ghotala amongst many constituents of your I.N.D.I. Alliance. Such proclivities damage the nation and society. You ought to purge your alliance of such elements, who go against the basic philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi ji who was strictly against alcohol consumption, and indulge in patronising illicit liquor trade or liquor scams," he said.
"Finally, I invite you to join our leaders for a black band protest against this "state sponsored disaster" in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi inside the Prerna Sthal within Parliament precincts," Nadda added in his letter.

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