TN CM ready for SSCP without demolishing Ram Sethu

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Chennai, Sept 20 (UNI) In a significant change in the stand, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi today indicated that he would not mind if the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) was implemented without demolishing the controversial ''Ram Sethu''.

Talking to newspersons at party headquarters Anna Arivalayam here, after chairing a high-level party meeting, he said the SSCP, which was a 100 year old dream of the Tamils, should be implemented with or without demolishing ''Ram Sethu''.

Asked whether it would be acceptable to him if the project was implemented without causing damage to ''Ram Sethu'', the Dravidian patriarch said ''it was never their stand that the bridge should be demolished,. and they only wanted the Sethusamudram project to be implemented''.

This was a 100 year old dream of the Tamils and the implementation of the project would bring prosperity, not only to Tamil Nadu, but the entire Southern states, he said.

Mr Karunanidhi said experts and economists have also opined that the project, once implemented would considerably reduce the shipping time, besides increasing the trade activity and bring prosperity.

Turning down Bhratiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani's demand that he retract his remarks against Lord Ram and Ramayana, Mr Karunanidhi said he had only quoted saint Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, while making the remarks.

On Mr Advani taking exception to his questioning the existence of Lord Ram, saying that one could question the miracles of Jesus Christ and Moses, and not their existence, Mr Karunanidhi reiterated he had only quoted what Valimiki had said about Ram.

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