Sonia greets Karunanidhi on his 85th B'day

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Chennai, Jun 3 (UNI) AICC President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today described Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi as the architect of policies aimed at strengthening the social and economic status of the poor and the deprived sections.

In a letter to the DMK Chief, who turned 85 today, Ms Gandhi said ''Since 2004 (when UPA assumed office at National level), we have looked up to you as the most senior leader for advice and guidance in the governance of the country.'' ''In 2006, under your leadership, the DPA won the election to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, and we were naturally overjoyed when you assumed the office of Chief Minister for an uprecedented fifth term. Throughout this period, we have worked together for the implementation of the basic principles and values on which the UPA is founded'', she said.

''For many decades now you have been the architect of policies that aim to strengthen the social and economic status of the poor and the deprived in Tamil Nadu. Your vision and leadership have not only helped change the role of the DMK and established it as a major political force among the Tamil people, but have also influenced a change in the rest of the country.

''No less significant has been your contribution in reviving and taking forward the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu, both through your own great accomplishments in the fields of Tamil literature, language and arts, and through the enlightened cultural policies you have initiated.

The people of Tamil Nadu are indeed fortunate to have a wise and sagacious leader like you at the helm of affairs. I pray that you may continue to provide leadership, guidance and inspiration to your party, your state and the country for many years to come.

''I send you my warmest greetings. May you enjoy good health, contentment, and success in all your endeavours in the years ahead'', Ms Gandhi said in the letter, copies of which were released to the media tonight and read out by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at a felicitation function organised by the South Chennai District of the DMK.

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