AIADMK, DMK hurl charges over Jaya's attack

Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK traded charges on Friday over the attack on former chief Jayalalithaa's motorcade

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CHENNAI: Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK traded charges on Friday over the attack on former chief Jayalalithaa's motorcade in Ramanathapuram district with both parties accusing each other of "stage managing" the incident.
Jayalalithaa accused DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's Madurai-based son M K Azhagiri of being behind the stone pelting on Thurday "under directions from his father", while DMK alleged that the AIADMK leader was rattled by the growing popularity of their leader and was therefore making such accusations.
The two camps claimed that the incident reflected the growing popularity of the respective parties.
While Jayalalithaa claimed that the DMK was "unable to tolerate her growing popularity and clout," the ruling party shot back saying it was their leader, Karunanidhi, who was going up in the popularity charts, "thanks to his deft handling of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue."
The DMK charged that it was the AIADMK men who resorted to stone-pelting when their efforts to have a glimpse of their leader Jayalalithaa was foiled by the police.
DMK leader and Revenue Minister, I Periyasamy said that Jayalalithaa was "taking to such diversionary tactics" fearing arrest.
While Jayalalithaa initially blamed the "attackers of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Madurai in 1978" behind the incident where she had gone to pay homage to freedom fighter, the late Muthuramalinga Thevar, she, however, did not point the finger of suspicion at anyone in particular.
But, she later alleged that Azhagiri was behind the attack.
Jayalalithaa has been of late critical of Azhagiri and levelled charges against him claiming he was running a "'raj' of his own" in the southern parts of the state and vitiating the entire political and public atmosphere there.
She alleged that his henchmen were brought in police vehicles and "the police were asked to arrest persons not connected to the episode."
Asking her party cadre not to disturb the people by staging road-blockades following the incident, she said "we will face the attack by the DMK politically."
However, Periyasamy insisted that the AIAMDK cadre resorted to violence at the Pasumpon village also following "confusion" over Jayalalithaa's visit.
She had reportedly rescheduled her flight shedule.
"She is resorting to such diversionary tactics due to the growing popularity of Karunanidhi, especially with his deft handling of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue," Periyasamy said.
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