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Stalin proposes Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate in opposition’s latest gathering at Karunanidhi statue unveiling

DMK chief MK Stalin had called on Sonia Gandhi during his Delhi visit for the opposition parties meeting on December 10 and invited her to the ceremony to unveil the statues of former Tamil Nadu chief ministers Karunanidhi and CN Annadurai.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2018 23:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, DMK president MK Stalin, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders at the gathering.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, DMK president MK Stalin, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders at the gathering.(AP)
         

DMK chief MK Stalin proposed Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate, saying he has got the “ability to defeat the fascist Modi government”.

He was addressing a rally with the Gandhis and other opposition leaders after United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Sunday unveiled the statue of late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi at the DMK headquarters in Chennai.

Apart from Karunanidhi’s son and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief Stalin and the Gandhis, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Tamil superstar-cum-politician Rajinikanth, former Union minister Shatrughan Sinha were also present at the ceremony at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK office.

It was the first time senior opposition figures were together at an event after the Congress wrested power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the November-December assembly elections. Senior opposition leaders including Stalin are also expected to attend the swearing-in of new Congress chief ministers — Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot in Jaipur, Kamal Nath in Bhopal and Bhupesh Baghel in Chhattisgarh — on Monday.

 

After unveiling the statues, the Gandhis and other leaders paid tribute to Karunanidhi at his memorial at Marina Beach. They later addressed a rally, where Stalin proposed Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate.

Alleging that under PM Modi’s rule, “the country has gone 15 years back”, he said, “If we give another chance to him, surely the country will go 50 years back. PM Modi is behaving like a king, that’s why we’ve all come together to safeguard democracy and country”.

“I propose we’ll install a new Prime Minister in Delhi. I propose the candidature of Rahul Gandhi from Tamil Nadu. He has got the ability to defeat the fascist Modi government,”Stalin said, ANI said.

In his address, Rahul Gandhi attacked the Narendra Modi at the Centre while praising the late DMK chief.

“While Karunanidhi defended the institutions of this country,today we hav a government that is attacking voice, culture, institutions of Tamil Nadu and our country. In memory of Karunanidhi Ji, all voices in India are going to get together and defeat the BJP in next election,” he said, as per ANI.

“We aren’t going to allow the destruction of the idea of India, the destructions of our institutions, the Supreme Court, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), the EC (Election Commission). And we are going to stand together and do this,” he added.

Naidu also accused the Modi government of “destroying” all the institutions of the country.

“People elected a BJP government, all institutions were destroyed. Federalism is destroyed. They are misusing CBI. It’s a premier institution for corruption control, now it’s caught in corruption itself. They removed the CBI director. The RBI governor has resigned,” he said, in a reference to CBI chief Alok Verma being sent on leave amid a spat with his deputy Rakesh Asthana and the sudden quitting of central bank chief Urjit Patel.

“Even ED (Enforcement Directorate), IT (Income Tax) department are being used to victimise politicians. Yesterday you saw the Rafale case in Supreme Court. Even for SC, this government has filed wrong affidavit. Governors are misusing powers in Goa, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states,” he alleged.

In her speech, Sonia Gandhi pitched for opposition unity.

“It’s my desire that mutual support of our parties to each other remain strong as when Karunanidhi ji was guiding us,as we wage together a battle with political forces that are determined to destroy our constitutional values and the idea of India as we know it,” she said, reported ANI.

Stalin had called on Sonia Gandhi during his Delhi visit for the opposition parties meeting on December 10 and invited her to the ceremony to unveil the statues of former Tamil Nadu chief ministers Karunanidhi and CN Annadurai.

First Published: Dec 16, 2018 17:43 IST