Pon Radhakrishnan
Pon RadhakrishnanIANS

Junior shipping minister and BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan has come down heavily on the Edapalli Palaniswami -led Tamil Nadu government for not doing enough to check the spread of Naxalism in the state.

Speaking to reporters at the Chennai airport, Radhakrishnan said the government was simply not doing enough to prevent the spread of Naxalism, citing vernacular media reports of Naxal activity in the state.

He wanted the state to take stronger action like former Chief Minister Jayalalitha and M.G. Ramachandran, whom he praised for their efforts. "The present state government and its chief minister, who say they follow the footsteps of MGR, should take strict action against such elements. A chief minister is there to protect the people of the state and not to be lenient to such elements," he said.

The Union Minister went on to add that the Naxalites had played a role in the Jallikattu protests, saying it was their presence that escalated the incident leading to the deaths at the Marina beach. According to him, genuine protestors were happy with the initiatives taken by the Centre and the state governments, but the Naxalites took control of the protest causing violence.

Radhakrishnan further went on to allege that Naxals could have taken control of the media as well, saying the people of Tamil Nadu would be in grave peril if the government didn't act quickly.

Radhakrishnan said he had been warning both the Centre and the state for the last one-and-a-half years, but his claims were not taken seriously by either the state government, police or intelligence wing. He called on Palaniswami to step down if he could not control the situation.

Talking about the protests on the Chennai-Salem green expressway, Radhakrishnan said the government needed to find out if they were merely protests, or if they had an ulterior motive.