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Karunanidhi happy as Sonia, PM turn up for unveiling Maran's statue

The DMK showcased its clout in the UPA Govt as the statue of late Union Minister and senior DMK leader Murasoli Maran was unveiled by PM Manmohan Singh in Parliament House, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 21:20 IST

The DMK showcased its clout in the UPA government as the statue of late Union Minister and senior DMK leader Murasoli Maran was unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament House on Friday.

What mattered more for 83-year-old Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was present there - unlike on Thursday when she and the PM were absent at a function attended by AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa for the unveiling late MG Ramachandran's statue.

If Jayalalitha was miffed by the absence of Sonia, Karunanidhi was in all smiles. So much so he decided to stay back to wish personally the Congress president on her birthday on Saturday.

As for as the DMK was concerned, the message from the Central Congress leaders was important. Sonia and the PM valued immensely the role of the DMK and Karunanidhi even if the late MGR enjoyed a standing higher than that of Maran in Tamil Nadu politics.

Though Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi attributed the absence of Sonia and the PM at the MGR function owing to their "preoccupation", DMK leaders viewed it with a lot of significance.

A proud DMK leadership also issued newspaper advertisements to announce the unveiling of the statue by the PM, along with the picture of Sonia who has respected Karunanidhi's disinclination to entertain any proposal for the Congress' participation in the TN coalition.

Besides Karunanidhi, his wife Dayalu Ammal, late Maran's wife Mallika, his son and Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and DMK MPs and MLAs were present at the brief function.

Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, BJP leader LK Advani, several Central ministers from the state including P Chidambaram and MPs were there too.

Maran was very close to Karunanidhi, being his nephew and editor of the DMK party journal, Murasoli. DMK leaders say Maran made a mark by strongly putting up a case for developing nations like India in the WTO conference in Seattle in 1999 and later in Doha in 2001.

During his stay, Karunanidhi met President APJ Abdul Kalam to step up efforts to make Tamil the official language in the Madras High Court. He handed over to him a copy of the resolution passed unanimously in the Tamil Nadu assembly in this regard.

Chief Justice of the Madras High Court AP Shah has accepted the government's move but wants the necessary infrastructure in place before Tamil is used in the Court.

Later, HRD Minister Arjun Singh called on Karunanidhi. Singh would be visiting the state on December 25 to inaugurate the Tamil Classical Language Research Centre in Chennai.

First Published: Dec 08, 2006 21:20 IST