BJP hits out at INDIA bloc parties over silence on Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy

Sambit Patra slammed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and asked him to clarify if he was "complicit" in the incident.

ByPTI

Published Jun 23, 2024 | 5:19 PM Updated Jun 23, 2024 | 5:19 PM

Sambit Patra addressing press conference.

The BJP on Sunday, 23 June, attacked the INDIA bloc on the hooch tragedy in DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu, saying it hopes the alliance leaders who have not spoken on the issue will at least show repentance by gathering near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex and observing a moment of silence for the lives lost.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, the party’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra also slammed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and asked him to clarify if he was “complicit” in the incident which took place in the state’s Kallakurichi district.

“More than 56 people have died… many are still critical. More than 40 of those who died consuming spurious liquor are Dalits. This is state-sponsored murder and I am surprised that the Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Sonia Gandhi, leaders of the DMK and those of other constituents of the ‘INDI Alliance’ are silent on it,” Patra said.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu Kallakurichi hooch tragedy death toll rises to 56

Slams INDIA bloc

It seems they are silent on this issue as it does not serve their politics, the BJP leader charged.

“When the Parliament session starts tomorrow, I hope INDI Alliance leaders will go to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue to observe silence, wearing black bands on their arms, and repent for the death of people in the hooch tragedy,” Patra said.

“Mahatma Gandhi was against illicit liquor. Gandhiji’s statue is waiting for you, his principles are waiting for you,” he added.

Hitting out at Chief Minister Stalin, Patra accused his government and leaders of the DMK of being complicit in the hooch tragedy.

“In his first statement, the district collector had initially denied that people died after consuming spurious liquor. He was asked to do so because the Assembly session was scheduled to start the very next day,” the BJP leader alleged and cited some media reports.

Due to the district collector’s denial, those who had stock of the spurious liquor continued consuming it and more than a dozen people died the next day, he added.

“Of course, the (Tamil Nadu) government is complicit in this. Look at the behaviour of the chief minister. I am astonished that a tragedy of such a magnitude has struck the state yet the chief minister is absent. Till the time I came to hold this press conference, he had not visited the bereaved family members of those who died,” Patra said.

“Shouldn’t the CM come out with a statement,” the BJP leader asked.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)

(South First is now on WhatsApp and Telegram)