UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu were among galaxy of top leaders from the Opposition who took part in the unveiling of late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's statue in Chennai on Sunday.
Apart from Karunanidhi’s son and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Tamil superstar-cum-politician Rajinikanth, former Union minister Shatrughan Sinha were also present at the ceremony at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK office.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi & Congress President Rahul Gandhi at a public rally in Chennai. pic.twitter.com/RH3LnTlaOI— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
Sonia Gandhi had accepted the invitation extended to her to attend the event at the DMK headquarters in Chennai.
Tamil Nadu: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a public rally in Chennai. pic.twitter.com/SWPxjT0dq3— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
It was the first time opposition leader were together at an event after the Congress's victories in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the November-December assembly elections.
UPA Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi and Congress President @RahulGandhi pay their respects to former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the Kalaignar Karunanidhi Memorial, Marina Beach, Chennai pic.twitter.com/ba2eSPT3JX— Congress (@INCIndia) December 16, 2018
"Unveiling his statue at your party headquarters will be a fitting tribute to Kalaignar (Karunaidhi). It is an honour for me to accept your invitation," she had said in a letter to DMK chief and Karunaidhi's son MK Stalin.
Stalin, whose party is a staunch ally of Congress, had on November 11 written to Gandhi requesting her to take part in the statue unveiling event.
Karunanidhi passed away on August 7 this year aged 94 following prolonged illness.
Karunanidhi's statue unveiling | Highlights:
7.40 pm: "It's my desire that mutual support of our parties to each other remain strong as when Karunanidhi ji was guiding us, as we wage together a battle with political forces that are determined to destroy our constitutional values and the idea of India as we know it," says Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi in Chennai: It's my desire that mutual support of our parties to each other remain strong as when Karunanidhi ji was guiding us,as we wage together a battle with political forces that are determined to destroy our constitutional values&the idea of India as we know it pic.twitter.com/js5Vi5gaIE— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
07.30 pm: "From the soil of Tamil Nadu, I propose the name of Rahul Gandhi for the prime ministerial candidate," says MK Stalin.
DMK President MK Stalin in Chennai: I propose we'll install a new Prime Minister in Delhi. I propose the candidature of Rahul Gandhi from Tamil Nadu. He has got the ability to defeat the fascist Modi govt pic.twitter.com/Is9kzzNtDk— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
07. 20 pm: "In the five years of PM Modi's rule, the country has gone 15 years back. If we give another chance to him, surely the country will go 50 years back. PM Modi is behaving like a king, that's why we've all come together to safeguard democracy and country," says DMK President MK Stalin.
07.15 pm: DMK president MK Stalin presents mementos to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu.
Chennai: DMK President MK Stalin presents mementos to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/T6RAWwmYYE— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
07.05 pm: "We aren't going to allow the destruction of the idea of India, the destructions of our institutions, the Supreme Court, the RBI, the Election Commission. And we are going to stand together and do this (defeat the BJP)," says Rahul Gandhi.
07.00 pm: Coming down heavily on the Narendra Modi government, Rahul Gandhi said: "While Karunanidhi ji defended institutions of this country, today we've a government that is attacking voice, culture, institutions of Tamil Nadu and our country. In memory of Karunanidhi ji, all voices in India are going to get together and defeat the BJP in the next election."
Rahul Gandhi in Chennai: While Karunanidhi Ji defended institutions of this country,today we've a govt that is attacking voice,culture,institutions of Tamil Nadu&our country. In memory of Karunanidhi Ji, all voices in India are going to get together & defeat BJP in next election pic.twitter.com/EKzUNuhpFR— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
06.50 pm: "People elected the BJP government, but it destroyed all institutions; federalism is destroyed. They are misusing the CBI. It's a premier institution for corruption control, now it's meddled in corruption itself. They removed the CBI Director, the RBI Governor has resigned...The ED, the IT departments are being used to victimise politicians. Yesterday, you saw the Rafale case in the Supreme Court. Even for the SC, this government has filed wrong affidavit. Governors are misusing powers in Goa, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states," said Naidu while speaking at the event.