The Congress on Thursday used the occasion of DMK chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s grandson’s wedding to mend the troubled relationship with its southern partner, promising to take the alliance forward through the rest of the UPA term.
Ties between the two parties have been strained after Karunanidhi’s protégé former telecom minister A Raja was ousted from the Manmohan Singh cabinet for his role in the spectrum scandal.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was not present to bless the marriage of chemicals and fertilisers minister MK Alagiri’s son Durai Dayanidhi and Anusha, daughter of Chennai lawyer PS Seetharaman. But the Congress president’s troubleshooter, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, cherished old the ties with the DMK and renewed the alliance commitment.
“This combination fostered in 2004 was steadily contributing to the progress of the economy and socio-economic transformation. We will continue to do so for the next three-and-a-half years,” Mukherjee said. Though Karunanidhi sat stern faced on the dais, flanked by leaders from the Centre and the state, family and film stars, he expressed support for the political alliance.
The glitzy wedding dais at Tamukkam grounds had a picture of Dravidian icon CN Annadurai in the background. Raja sat in the third row in the audience. Seated in the front row were Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi and actress Khushboo, now a DMK leader.
The DMK patriarch had enough reasons to smile — his sons, deputy chief minister MK Stalin and Alagiri, kept aside their differences while participating in the ceremonies. Karunanidhi said the two brothers should move in tandem for the sake of the party. He mixed caution and affection when he praised Alagiri.
The crowd seemed to enjoy most when actor Rajinikanth made his entry.