I am not a rich person:TN CM Karunanidhi proclaims
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi has said that he is not a rich person. But he claims that he is having a fixed deposit of Rs 5.66 Crores and Rs 35.91 lakh in savings bank account.
In a statement on Wednesday, replying to the main opposition party (AIADMK) leader Ms J Jayalalithaa's accusation that he was the richest man in Asia, Mr Karunanidhi said that he had donated his Gopalauram Residence for converting it into a hospital denoting that he had nothing much.
Earning since the age of18
In an epistle to partymen, Mr Karunanidhi virtually filed an affidavit, giving details of his wealth he had accumulated right from the age of 18, when he started earning by writing stage plays.
Reiterating he hailed from a very ordinary family, he said the people of the state had made him Chief Minister five times with a firm belief that he would serve them and he would spend his remaining part of his life for them.
''I will take it as my bounden duty to redress the grievances and wipe the tears of the poor while serving for the people of the State,'' he said adding he was giving details of his wealth to make it clear that his life was an open book and make understand those who find fault with him.
Details account of properties
The Chief Minister's detailed account of his properties and wealth assumed significance in the backdrop of 2G spectrum scam involving huge amount of corruption allegedly by Former Union Telecom Minister A Raja, a staunch loyalist of Mr Karunanidhi.
Mr Karunanidhi said some of his family members and relatives could have acquired properties and bought houses on their own by working hard, but he affirmed that he had not given them any financial assistance or assistance on behalf of the government.
Referring to charge levelled by AIADMK Leader J Jayalalithaa and her partymen that he had come to the city empty handed and now has become a richest man in Asia, Mr Karunanidhi said he hailed from a family which had enough wealth to put him in High school in Tiruvarur, a luxury those days. At the age of 18 years, he launched ''Murasoli'', which had become the party organ now and started earning by writing stage plays, he said.
Full time script writer
In 1949, he was a full-time scriptwriter for Modern Theatres, a famous film producing company based in Salem those days, earning a monthly salary of Rs 500.
He began his family life in Salem when Modern Theatres produced ''Mandri Kumari'' in which late chief minister MGR leads.
It was at this time, he secured an advance of Rs 10,000 from N S Krishnan for writing script for Manamagal, a Tamil film.
When the film ran for 100 days, its producer L V Prasad gave him an additional Rs 10,000. Using the money, he had built a maternity centre in his home town, which was inaugurated by then Chief Minister K Bakthavachalam in 1964, he said.
He was living in a rented house in T Nagar when he came to the city. After he won a bet, N S Krishnan presented him a Vaukhall car, he said adding that was the first car owned by him.
After coming to the city, he had earned money by writing scripts for more than 75 films.
He got elected to the State Assembly for the first time in 1957 from Kulithalai and since then, he continued to be member of the Assembly or the Council.
He was State Public Works Minsiter from 1967 to 1969 and assumed office as Chief Minister five times but continued to live in his Gopalapuram Residence, he said.
Compared to other Chief Ministers, he continued to lead a simple life in the same house, he added.
Every time he became Chief Minister, Public Works Ministers like Mr Duraimurugan would ask him to take up a spacious Government House, but he chose to live in the Gopalapuram ''street house'' which he bought for Rs 45,000 before he became a Minister, Mr Karunanidhi said. He had been holding various responsibilities in the government and has reached 87 years now, but he has not bought properties like houses, farms or estates or appropriated any government property. Still, he was called the richest man in Asia, he lamented.
When Sun TV was launched by his late nephew Murasoli Maran, he was part of it and when his son Kalanidhi Maran wanted to run the Sun Network independently, he came out of it and got a share money of Rs 100 crore, the DMK leader said.
After he paid Income Tax of Rs 22.50 crore, he had distributed the share money to his sons and daughters, while keeping his share of Rs ten crore.
With the deposit of Rs five crore, he started the ''Kalaignar Karunanidhi Trust'' and had been giving financial assistance to the poor people for medical expenses and students for their education from the interest acrued from the fixed deposit.
He said he had given Rs one crore to the Tamil Nadu Book Publishers and Printers for awarding best writers and given another Rs one crore for establishing ''Kalaignar Karunanidhi Semmozhi Trust.''
Mr Karunanidhi said during 2004-05, he was paid Rs 21 lakh for writing scripts for two films, ''Mannin Maindan'' and ''Kannamma'' and donated the amount for tsunami relief fund. Similarly, he had donated to the indigent film artistes, Rs 18 lakh, he was paid for writing script for ''Uliyin Osai'' and donated to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund Rs 61.50 lakh he got for ''Pen Singam''.
This amount was utilised to assist students of Arundhathiyar Community to pursue their professional education, he said.
Mr Karunanidhi said he got Rs 45 lakh, excluding Income Tax for the now produced ''Ilaigan'' and had donated the amount to the Chief Minsiter's General Relief Fund to be utilised for the benefit of differently-abled people.
On Ambedkar's Birth Anniversary, he was given a cash award of Rs 50,000 and donated it to the Relief Fund.
His ''Then Pandi Singam'' won Rajarajan Award and he had donated the purse of Rs One lakh to the Thanjavur Tamil University.
In 1986, a sum of Rs 2.75 lakh was donated on the occasion of his birth anniversary and he had given the amount to various Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups.
Similarly, he had given the birthday collections to Sivananda Orphanage Centre and Bangalore Tamil Sangam, he said.
All the mementos, he was presented in official and party functions, were given back to the State Secretariat or party office, Mr Karunanidhi added.
- Asian Tribune -