Jayalalithaa said the retired police officer had violated party discipline and brought disrepute and bad name to it. “Cadres should not have any truck with him,” she said in a terse party release. It, however, did not elaborate the reasons for the action.
The expulsion has come close on the heels of a faux pas by a Tamil news channel. In one of its talk shows, the channel on Saturday erroneously used Natraj’s photograph and his name, while the anchor was engaging in a telephonic conversation with his namesake and a political columnist on the flood relief work of the state government. The latter made critical remarks against the government machinery, facing flak for its handling of water release from reservoirs that wreaked havoc in the city. Channel sources said they immediately called up the retired police officer and apologised. “We also rectified the error in our video footage available online. The clarification was made during a Sunday morning show,” said a senior representative of the channel, seeking anonymity. But, the expulsion order from the AIADMK high-command came a few hours later.
Natraj told TOI that there had been a “misunderstanding” and that it would be sorted out. “I never gave any interview to the media on rain relief or anything else. The channel has published an apology. The matter has been explained,” the former DGP said, adding he would be sending a communication to the AIADMK chief. In 2014, the AIADMK leader had handed over a membership card to him at her Poes Garden residence, as part of his formal induction into the party.
The 1975 batch officer has held various posts before being given charge of the Chennai police commissioner by the previous AIADMK regime in 2003. He also became director general of police, prisons and fire and rescue services.