At Karunanidhi commemoration event, Opposition speaks out against BJP

Leaders, cutting across party and ideological lines on Thursday, pitched for united secular front against the BJP in the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls at a function organised in Chennai to commemorate the late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who passed away on August 7.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2018 23:20 IST
CS Kotteswaran
CS Kotteswaran
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Karunanidhi,Opposition,BJP
DMK president MK Stalin, along with Union minister Nitin Gadkari, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad and other leaders in Chennai on Thursday.(PTI)

Leaders, cutting across party and ideological lines on Thursday, pitched for united secular front against the BJP in the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls at a function organised in Chennai to commemorate the late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who passed away on August 7. The event was attended by Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Pon Radhakrishnan.

Addressing the meeting, Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, said “Kalaignar Karunanidhi supported BJP not for its ideologies, but merely due to the respect and understanding with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Though he supported both Congress and BJP, he never compromised on his secular and democratic ideologies.”

TMC leader Derek O’Brien said Karunanidhi fought for the federal structure in the country. “As there is a threat to the federal structure (at present), all federal parties should join hands to make a change,” the MP said.

Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda recalled that Karunanidhi had a long legacy of fighting to retrieve the right of states. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Karunanidhi fought for freedom of speech.

National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah reminded the newly elected DMK president MK Stalin (Karunanidhi’s son) that he has a tough task ahead.

Gadkari also addressed the gathering, and said that BJP and DMK were among the few parties that had opposed the Congress and its policies in the 1960s. “Karunanidhi opposed the Emergency in 1975. He also had an excellent relationship with our leader Vajpayee. It is unfortunate that we lost both leaders in a very short time,” Gadkari said.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 23:20 IST