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DMK announces Raj Bhavan protest over Kodanad heist issue

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

Opposition DMK Tuesday announced it would stage a demonstration in front of the Raj Bhavan here on January 24 demanding that Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit take action against Chief Minister K Palaniswami in the backdrop of claims made in a video clip about the Kodanad heist.

In the video released on January 11, two of the accused in the sensational robbery at the Kodanad estate, where a guard of the property was found dead in April 2017, had linked the chief minister to the break-in, prompting opposition calls for his resignation even as Palaniswami dismissed the charges.

The sprawling property was frequented by the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa when she was alive.

DMK has already urged Purohit to direct Palaniswami to resign from his post to ensure a free and fair probe.

However, Palaniswami, refuting the allegations, had said those who were unable to take on AIADMK politically were resorting to such cheap acts and asserted that a probe would expose their identity.

It has also sought probe by a Special Investigation Team, comprising officers of the rank of Inspector General of Police and further investigation into the "mysterious death" of alleged key conspirator Kanagaraj.

In a statement on Tuesday, DMK President MK Stalin recalled his meeting with the Governor on January 14 urging him to direct the chief minister to resign, but said "no action seemed to have been taken so far."

"Therefore, to press the chief minister to resign and the Governor to take action against him according to the Constitution, and seeking setting up of the SIT, the DMK will hold a massive protest demonstration in front of the Raj Bhavan on Thursday," Stalin said.

The protest will be headed by the party's four Chennai units' district secretaries, MLAs PK Sekar Babu, J Anbazhagan, M Subramanian and S Sudharsanam, he said.

Meanwhile, senior AIADMK leader and state Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar charged Stalin with trying to rake up the issue to topple the government.

"They tried so many tactics to topple the government and split the party," he said.

While the rivals could not succeed in their earlier attempts, they will face defeat in the Kodanadu issue also, he said.

"We are ready to face any probe, including by the CBI. We have nothing to hide," Jayakumar told reporters.

A former magazine editor Samuel Mathew had released a 16-minute video clip in Delhi in which two suspects-K V Sayan and Valayar Manoj, out on bail, had levelled the charge linking Palaniswami to the break-in.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 22 2019. 17:05 IST