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Karuna Hails SC Move to Commute Death for 15 Convicts

DMK President M Karunanidhi today welcomed the Supreme Court judgement commuting death penalty of 15 convicts, and said he would rejoice if a similar ruling was made for the three convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case also.

Speaking to reporters here, he said he was opposed to death sentence for long and expressed joy over the apex court's ruling on Tuesday.

"I would rejoice if the sentence suits them also," was his response when asked if the ruling could suit death row convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case -- Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan -- who have also sought commutation of their sentence on the ground that their mercy plea was rejected 11 years after it was moved.

The Supreme Court had given life term to 15 death row convicts, including the four aides of the dreaded sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, on ground of delay in deciding on their mercy plea.

To a question, he ruled out seeking support from Congress for the victory of his party candidate Tiruchi N Siva for next month's Rajya Sabha elections.

Congress had supported DMK's Kanimozhi in last year's biennial elections and the recent meeting between Karunanidhi and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here had raised many an eyebrow.

When asked if his party will approach DMDK for support, he said "wait and see."

When it was pointed out that a section of DMDK felt that alliance between the two parties for Lok Sabha elections could fructify if DMK 'sacrificed' the Rajya Sabha seat for the Vijayakant-led party, Karunanidhi insisted alliance talks had not happened between the two so far.

"If those talks happen, then your opinion will also be considered," he said.

When suggested that he himself could directly invite DMDK for alliance, the 90 year-old leader said "our invitation has been made through appropriate" channels.

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