Karunanidhi's statue unveiling becomes Opposition's 'show of strength' event

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 16 December 2018, 11:14 PM
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi among top leaders at a DMK meeting in Chennai. (Congress/Twitter)
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi among top leaders at a DMK meeting in Chennai. (Congress/Twitter)

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.

Sonia Gandhi had accepted the invitation extended to her to attend the event at the DMK headquarters in Chennai.

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.

"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.

07.30 pm: "From the soil of Tamil Nadu, I propose the name of Rahul Gandhi for the prime ministerial candidate," says MK Stalin. 

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.

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." 

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.

First Published: Sunday, December 16, 2018 06:47 PM
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