Chennai: If Sardar Patel’s statue in Gujarat is officially called the ‘Statue of Unity’, an unofficial statue of unity is in the making in Tamilnadu. For, the inaugural of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s statue at the party’s headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, here 16 December, will bring together Opposition leaders from across the country, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Though Sonia has already accepted the DMK invite and confirmed her participation by saying it was an honour for her to attend the function, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M K Stalin is likely to leave for New Delhi soon to invite her in person.
A galaxy of national leaders are expected to participate in the event, which is being seen as a platform for uniting Opposition parties to take on the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha elections, due in summer next year.
“The DMK, which is out of power in both the Centre and the State for years, is lately leaving no opportunity to bring Opposition leaders on one stage. After Karunanidhi’s birthday event last year and Murasoli platinum jubilee function, the inaugural of Karunanidhi’s statue this month is one more chance for it to show its strength, especially with Lok Sabha elections fast approaching.” says Vadivelan S, a political analyst.
Ravi S, a professor, adds: “The Parliament polls will be a test to Stalin to prove his leadership, since it is the first major election to be held after he took over as party chief. With the recent remarks by Duraimurugan hurting friendly parties like MDMK and VCK, the Karunanidhi statue inaugural function will outline which parties are keen to be in the DMK alliance.”
Karunanidhi statue will be located alongside a refurbished statue of DMK founder and late chief minister C N Annadurai at the party headquarters.
“A life-size statue of Dr Kalaignar will be unveiled by all India leaders,” the party had said in a statement recently.
Karunanidhi passed away 7 August this year at age 94.