Karunanidhi attacks AIADMK on 'Ram Setu'

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Salem, Sep 15: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has launched a blistering attack against AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa for moving the Supreme Court against the demolition of 'Ram Sethu', while heading a party named after Dravidian patriarch and late chief minister C N Annadurai. Addressing an official function here last evening, the DMK leader, reacting to the petition filed by the AIADMK leader in the apex court to protect 'Ram Sethu', said it was a shame for the late leader Anna who had propagated rationalist ideals in his life time.

''Anna, I regret and am ashamed for you as these people (AIADMK) running a party in your name, are tarnishing your image and I have to witness it during my lifetime,'' he remarked.

Mr Karunanidhi said he might be accused of speaking politics in an official function, but it was not politics, but a social issue which he had to address.

''I have to address the issue and put the records straight,'' he said and exhorted the people to take a pledge to correct the mistake.

The Chief Minister, whose DMK is a key constituent of the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre, took exception to the Centre withdrawing its affidavit in connection with the Sethusamudram project and its stand on Lord Ram and 'Ram Sethu'.

''Why should we tolerate this just for the sake of being in power,'' he said, adding that late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru himself had said epic Ramayana was not based on facts, but an imaginary story depicting the fight between Aryans and Dravidians.

Mr Karunanidhi said those who had vouched for the implementation of Sethusamudram project in their election manifestos, were then opposing the project. Quoting economists and experts, the DMK leader said the project, when implemented would bring economic prosperity to the state. ''Vessels, which now take a circuitous route around Sri Lanka, can pass through the channel, saving time and expenses,'' he said.

However, some people opposed the project in the name of God and protested against the demoliton of 'Ram Sethu', saying it was built 16 lakh years ago by Lord Ram, Mr Karunanidhi said.

Meanwhile, Ms Jayalalithaa, in a statement here said the Centre had lost its credibility after filing an affidavit before the Supreme Court stating that the characters or the events mentioned in the Ramayana had not existed at all.

She said, by taking such a stand, the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre had insulted the religious sentiments of crore of Hindus.

Secularism meant equal respect to all religions and by insulting any religion, the government had lost its control, she added

UNI

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