Stalin to bring together Oppn leaders at MK memorial meet Wednesday

Karunanidhi, Stalin

Chennai: DMK president M K Stalin, who is lately leaving no stone unturned to project himself in the national arena, will bring together Opposition leaders from across the country for the first death anniversary of his father and party patriarch, M Karunanidhi, in the city Wednesday.

At the event, leaders are expected to hit out at the Centre for scrapping Articles 370 and 35A and bifurcating Jammu & Kashmir into two Union territories.

Interestingly, former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah’s name is also in the list of guests invited by the DMK for Karunanidhi’s memorial meet. However, uncertainty prevails over Abdullah’s Chennai visit in view of the tense situation in his State.

“Farooq Abdullah very much wanted to take part in Kalaignar’s memorial event. He was a close friend of our late Thalaivar,” said a DMK source.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Puducherry CM Narayanasamy and former Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu are likely to attend the event in which alliance leaders of the DMK would also take part.

This is the first major event of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam after the alliance led by it made a clean sweep of Lok Sabha elections in Tamilnadu, by winning 37 out of 38 seats.

Tomorrow, a statue of Karunanidhi will be unveiled at the office of the party organ Murasoli. The statue will depict Karunanidhi, who was also a veteran journalist, sitting and writing with a pen. After the unveiling of the statue at 5 pm, a public meeting will be held at the YMCA grounds in Royapettah, where leaders from the DMK and its allies would speak.

On Monday, hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the Centre’s decisions on Kashmir, Stalin said the measures should be held back till a democratically-elected government assumed office in the State. He strongly condemned Modi and Shah’s move to scrap Article 370 and said it was “murder of democracy”.

Stalin said the decision to scrap Article 370 at a time when there was no elected government in J&K was condemnable.

He said an elected Chief Minister and a Governor cannot be equated. “The Governor cannot be expected to know the feelings of the people like a Chief Minister would,” he added.

M Bhaskar Sai