NEW DELHI: Hours after the Supreme Court decided to free former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination of convict AG Perarivalan after a 31-year legal battle, the Congress on Wednesday expressed disappointment and said that it was deeply saddened by the decision of the top court.
Congress also questioned the upholding of the ‘integrity of the law’ if ‘those guilty of assassination and terrorism’ are to be released.
Speaking to the media here at the party headquarters Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Today, the Supreme Court decision has come on the release of a convict, convicted for the terrorist, murderous attack and assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.”
The Congress leader said: “We are deeply saddened by the decision of the Supreme Court? If those guilty of terrorism, an assassination of a Prime Minister are going to be released like this, then who will uphold the majesty and the integrity of law in this country?”
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “The Prime Minister and his government need to answer today – Is this your duplicity and doublespeak on terrorism? Are you going to be complicit in the release of terrorists and murderers of the former Prime Minister of this country, is it acquiescence by silence?”
He said that a nominee of the government of India does not take a call to reject such a decision of the cabinet of the state of Tamil Nadu. He instead refers to it to the President of India and the President of India does not decide, he alleged.
The Congress leader further said that “So, by default you are permitting terrorists and murderers of late Shri Rajiv Gandhi to be released, Is this nationalism?”
“Is this the duty you owe to this country? Is this the way that you are going to deal with people who are guilty of not being a Congress Leader, but a former Prime Minister of India? This has exposed the deep-rooted prejudice that pervades the mind and the psyche of the Prime Minister and his government. It is reprehensible and condemnable,” Surjewala said.
His remarks came after the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Perarivalan – who was convicted with six others for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and sentenced to death, a sentence later commuted to life in prison.
Speaking on the actions on the Udaipur declaration, Surjewala also said that for the last two days after the conclusion of the Udaipur Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir under the guidance of the General Secretary, Organization, all the In-charges and the general secretaries of the Congress have conferred with each other and post these two days of discussions, we have taken four concrete to follow up decisions.
He said, “On June 1 and 2, there will be a state-level Shivir in all the states across India, in which all the highlights, points and the way ahead taken from the Udaipur Declaration will be communicated to the leaders and grassroots workers.”
He said that the Shivirs will be attended by our MPs, our MLAs, our MP and MLA candidates, our District Congress Committee Presidents, our Pradesh Congress Committee office bearers and prominent leaders of the party.
He further said that as a follow up thereto, on June 11, a similar one-day Shivir will be held in on District Congress Committee.
“The whole idea is to carry forward up to the grassroots, the various highlights and points, on which, a way forward has been decided for the party by the Udaipur Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir,” the Congress leader said.
He also said that an Azadi Gaurav Yatra, spanning over three days, shall be undertaken by all district units between August 9 to 12, where 75 people, in accordance with the 75th anniversary of India’s freedom, will work permanently and hundreds and thousands will join them.
On August 15, the State Congress Committees will organise one major function to commemorate the sacrifices and the lessons of the freedom movement, he added.