Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said ties between the DMK and the Congress were strong as ever and scoffed at speculations that the CBI probe into the alleged 2G spectrum scam had strained the alliance. The DMK patriarch called on the PM at the Raj Bhavan around 9.15am.
This was Karunanidhi’s first meeting with Singh after the investigations into the spectrum allocation that led to raids on former telecom minister A Raja and people close to him.
After a 30-minute meeting with the PM, Karunanidhi told mediapersons that the DMK-Congress ties were “as strong as between you (media) and me”, sticking to his stated position that it was a section of the media that was working itself up to see a breakdown in the alliance.
The PM too said that the ties remained “strong and cordial” as ever.
On Sunday, Karunanidhi, however, ignored the convention and attended a book release function instead of receiving Singh at the airport or meeting him later. This was seen in political circles as the DMK chief’s efforts to express his displeasure over the CBI investigations into the controversial spectrum allocation.
Karunanidhi instead sent his youngest son MK Stalin, deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu, to receive the PM at the airport.
A Tamil Nadu information department release said Karunanidhi was unable to meet the PM on Sunday because the intense glare from the powerful lights at the book release function had led to a constant flow of tears from his eyes.
Before meeting the PM at the Raj Bhavan, Karunanidhi went to an eye hospital, the release stated.
The DMK chief maintained that his inability to meet the PM earlier had nothing to do with the postponement of the inauguration of Adyar Poonga, an eco park that failed to get clearance from the union ministry of environment and forests.
Sources said Singh was to attend the event but the lack of clearance for the project saw his office cancel the plan.
The eco park’s inaugural function would have given Karunanidhi an opportunity to make a public appearance with the PM in the aftermath of the CBI raids on Raja and the Tamil Maiyyam, an NGO in which his daughter and Rajya Sabha MP M Kanomozhi is a director.