‘Where is Rahul Gandhi?’: Nirmala Sitharaman slams Congress on hooch tragedy deaths in Tamil Nadu | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Where is Rahul Gandhi?’: Nirmala Sitharaman slams Congress on hooch tragedy deaths in Tamil Nadu

Jun 23, 2024 05:44 PM IST

Kallakurichi hooch tragedy: The MK Stalin-led Tamil Nadu government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the tragedy

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday hit out at Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi over the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy in Tamil Nadu, wherein more than 50 people have died and nearly 200 hospitalised.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

“More than 200 people are still in hospital in a critical stage. 56 people have died and most of them are from the scheduled caste... I condemn the incident. I am shocked that the Congress has not uttered a word against this. In a state where licensed liquor is available from shops run by the government called ‘TASMAC’,” Sitharaman told news agency ANI.

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“Despite that, in the middle of the city of Kalakurchi chemical-based illicit liquor is served... Where is the Congress party President Mallikarjun Kharge?... Where is Rahul Gandhi?... He contests elections just because he is assured that he will win... When Dalits are dying because of spurious liquor, not a statement comes from Rahul Gandhi... I demand that this whole matter be given to the CBI for investigation,” she added.

The Congress is a part of the ruling alliance with INDIA bloc partner Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu. The BJP has hit out at the opposition alliance, saying that it hopes the INDIA bloc 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.

ALSO READ: Families of Kallakurichi victims shattered, question availability of hooch

“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,” BJP MP-elect Sambit Patra said at a press briefing.

The MK Stalin-led Tamil Nadu government had ordered a judicial inquiry into the tragedy. The inquiry will be led by retired Madras High Court judge Justice B Gokuldas, who will submit a report within three months.

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