On Karunanidhi's 94th birthday bash, politics against Modi govt takes centre stage in TN

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Chennai, June 3: It's a big day for the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu. The party supremo M Karunanidhi turned 94 on Saturday.

Along with Karunanidhi's birthday, the DMK is also celebrating the day to mark his 60th year as a legislator, who till date has never lost a single election in his long political career, in Chennai.

Karunanidhi

The poet-turned-politician also holds the record of being the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for five times.

Interestingly, the birthday boy himself is unlikely to attend the party as the DMK patriarch has been unwell and staying away from public life for sometime now. That does not mean that the birthday party would be a bland celebration.

In fact, big names from the national politics like Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, to name a few, will be part of the celebrations.

Thus the big birthday bash to be hosted by the DMK is seen by political analysts as a perfect platform for all the opposition parties to come together and join hands against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Sources say during the birthday party, the Opposition might decide on its consensus candidate to be fielded for the upcoming Presidential elections. The term of President Pranab Mukherjee is ending in July.

Neither the Opposition nor the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre has declared the names of their presidential candidates till now.

Karunanidhi's son and DMK Working President MK Stalin is hosting a lunch party for the VIP guests who are flying down from various corners of the country to wish Karunanidhi on his birthday.

The DMK, however, has denied that the birthday celebrations have anything to do with politics.

"It is a very special day for all of us. Karunanidhi's emphasis on social justice is his greatest contribution as legislator. There is nothing politically significant about opposition leaders meeting," Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi told NDTV.

A few political bigwigs like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Yadav are skipping the event.

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