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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2965

Karunanidhi re-elected DMK chief, asks PM to send Pranab to Colombo immediately

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 28 December, ( Marking his election as the DMK chief for yet another time, party patriarch and TN chief Minister Karunanidhi Saturday told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to 'immediately' depute Pranab Mukherjee to Colombo on a peace mission.

Significantly, Karunanidhi delivered the 'request' publicly, shortly after the Prime Minister telephoned him and congratulated him on becoming DMK President unanimously for the tenth time at the party's General Council meeting of over 1900 members in Chennai.

The Council elevated Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin from deputy general secretary to the post of treasurer but did not reward the eldest son M K Azhagiri with any post. Madurai based Azhagiri has been hogging limelight in recent days signalling his growing importance in the party hierarchy. His sphere of influence is mostly Southern Tamilnadu. It is to be seen how his supporters will take the 'denial'.

The elevation of Stalin was greeted by a standing ovation.

Karunanidhi's close aide for decades Anbazhagan, who is also the Finance Minister, was re-elected general secretary for the eighth time in a row. These elections mark the completion of the 13th organisational polls, right from village level.

In a moving speech, Karunanidhi advised Stalin to fulfil Annadurai's dream of 1000 party offices in the nook and corner of Tamilnadu. "It is our founder Anna's dream to set up 1000 branch offices all over Tamilnadu. You should fulfil it. The DMK and its members will help you achieve this goal,' he said.

Turning to Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil issue, Karunanidhi said DMK's biggest challenge lay in saving the lives of Sri Lankan Tamils. 'The effort should be in line with the policies of the government of India.".

The chief minister made a 'tearful appeal' to Delhi to immediately depute External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Colombo to make efforts to ensure a ceasefire in the island nation.

'We are ready to even sacrifice our lives for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils. Every minute wasted by Delhi (in ensuring ceasefire) is a Tamil life lost...We make a tearful appeal to (Centre) immediately send Mukherjee to Sri Lanka, as promised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh', the DMK supremo said.

He added: 'We are waiting for him to go to Sri Lanka and are hopeful of a solution'.

Reiterating that the DMK was in synch with Delhi's policy on the ethnic issue, he said the effort to resolve the issue should not be a path of violence.

'It (the resolution) should not be a path of violence and other anti-national means. We will accept the decision of the Centre in this issue. But it is sitting over the problem and dragging it', he stated, adding that Tamil Nadu would extend all possible cooperation to the Centre in this matter.

Expectedly, the DMK chief came down came down heavily on his betenoire Jayalalithaa Jayaram of AIADMK for her remarks that the Sri Lankan army offensive was not against Sri Lankan Tamils but only against LTTE.

Karunanidhi recalled that he and his colleague K Anbazhagan had resigned their MLA posts in 1983, expressing solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils.

The general council adopted a resolution, urging the Centre to depute the External Affairs Minister to Sri Lanka immediately.

Amma Camp

Amma's camp too had some good news to cheer on Saturday.

Subramanian Swamy of Janata party has formally closed ranks with Jayalalithaa to take on the common rival, DMK.

He said, his Janata Party would support the AIADMK candidate in the by-election to the Thirumangalam Assembly seat.

Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal- Secular, Hardanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda had an hour-long meeting with AIADMK chief at her Poes Garden residence. Later he sounded confident of the proposed third front saying there would be a meeting of leaders of various non-Congress and on-BJP parties in New Delhi next month for forming the front.

'The main purpose of the meeting with Jayalalithaa was to have a frank political discussion on the formation of the proposed Front,' he said, pointing out that his party was part and parcel of the AIADMK in the last elections.

- Asian Tribune -

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