NEWS / STATUE
CHENNAI: Within days after the success of the Congress and rout of the BJP in five state assembly polls, top Opposition leaders flocked together here on Sunday to join DMK leader MK Stalin for inauguration of the nine-feet bronze statue of former CM the late M Karunanidhi at the Anna Arivalayam here.
While UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi did the unveiling, by her side were Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, neighbouring states’ chief ministers Pinarayi Vijayan, Chandrababu Naidu and Narayanasami — of Kerala, AP and Puducherry respectively — beside Stalin and other top DMK brass. Another prominent presence was of matinee idol Rajinikant. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi MP was also present.
Karunanidhi passed away in August this year at the age of 94. Stalin is expected to lead the DMK to victory in the next assembly polls due in 2011. The upcoming Lok Sabha polls will be first trial of strength for DMK and AIADMK after the leaders of both the parties passed away. Regional parties have little influence in Tamil Nadu.
AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa died in December 2016, some six months after her swearing in as CM for a fresh term. The AIADMK split after this, and does not have a powerful leader to take the party forward.
Stalin had been to New Delhi to personally invite Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. At the event, he said Rahul Gandhi will be the next prime minister. DMK is part of the UPA. “Under Narendra Modi, the country has gone back by 15 years. If he gets another term, he will take the nation back by 50 years,” he said.
|INSIDE THE ARIVALAYAM (Knowledge Centre)
Stalin also proposed Rahul Gandhi to context the Lok Sabha polls from Tamil Nadu as UPA nominee with able backing from DMK.–IHN-NN