Ruling AIADMK MLA S Karunaas was arrested in Chennai on Sunday over some alleged provocative remarks made at a recent public meeting against the chief minister and police. The issue, however, prompted the Opposition, includingthe DMK, to question why police were not acting against BJP leaders H Raja and S Ve Shekher who are also facing a number of cases.
Karunaas, also a well-known actor and founder of a small outfit, was picked up from his house this morning by a specialteam, police said. At a recent public meeting Karunaas had reportedly madesome remarks in relation to Chief Minister K Palaniswami andthe police, besides some alleged caste related ones, drawingcriticism from various quarters.
The actor, who aligned with the AIADMK for the 2016 Assembly polls, was elected from Tiruvadanai constituency in Ramanathapuram district on an AIADMK ticket. He had later met sidelined AIADMK leader and RK NagarMLA TTV Dhinakaran, who has also floated his own Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), post his ouster from the AIADMK.
Responding to the police action against him, Karunaas said he was not aware whether the Speaker P Dhanapal'sapproval was taken prior to his arrest as is the requirementand charged the government with "denying freedom ofexpression." "I am ready to face the matter in the court," he said.
DMK President MK Stalin as well as Dhinakaran said Karunaas could have avoided making such remarks but wondered why Raja and Shekher have not yet been arrested.
There was no doubt that elected representatives should"not exceed their limits" and they had the duty of ensuringpublic peace and harmony, Stalin said in a statement.
Karunaas had, however, expressed regret for hisutterances, the DMK Chief said and sought to know why the MLAwas still picked up. "The rule of law is being selectively implemented inTamil Nadu. Raja, who threatened to damage statues of(rational leader EVR) Periyar and one who demeaned and defamedpolice, besides making remarks against spouses of templeadministration staff, has not yet been arrested," he said.
Stalin, leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, said Raja was still attending public events with police protection and asked why another BJP member, Shekher, was also still notarrested in connection with a case of making demeaning remarksagainst women journalists.
"There is one rule for Karunaas and another for Raja andShekher and this is an injustice. This attitude of the AIADMKgovernment is condemnable," he added.
Dhinakaran also said it was "wrong" on the part of Karunaas to have made such remarks "emotionally" and regretted that his "friend" has been arrested. He also sought to know why the K Palaniswami governmentwas yet to act against Raja.
"The government and police should take a consistentstand. Raja is making so many remarks. He spoke against thepolice and juiciary. The police department just filed a caseagainst him and has gone silent," he said.
DMDK founder Vijayakant 'condemned' the arrest ofKarunaas and asked why "some other persons freely airing theirviews" were not facing action, apparently referring to Raja.
Meanwhile, at a meeting of its State Council, the CPI(M) adopted a resolution on this matter, saying the AIADMKgovernment had become a "puppet" of the Centre.
While the remarks made by Karunaas can be "critiqued,"why has the police not acted against Raja? it asked.
It also referred to the police action against a womanresearch student who raised anti-BJP slogans against party'sstate unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan in a Tuticortin-boundflight recently.
It sought the immediate arrest of Raja.