Chennai, May 4 (UNI) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President M Karunanidhi today charged that the battle in the May 8 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu was ''not to capture power but restore true democracy.'' Addressing a joint election meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at the Island grounds near the Marina beach here, he said his objective behind contesting the forthcoming elections, leading the DPA front, was not to become Chief Minister again defeating his rival (AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa).
''This is not a battle between two rulers to capture power but a fight between democracy and dictatorship'', he said at the meeting, appealing to the people to vote for DPA again as in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
''The judges in this battle to restore Democracy are the people of Tamil Nadu. ''You have decide the victory in the battle between democracy and dictatorship'', he said.
Quoting official statistics on development indices published by the government, Mr Karunanidhi, comparing the growth rate during the erstwhile DMK government between 1996-2001 and the Jayalalithaa government, alleged that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's claim of making the state the number one was hollow.
''I wonder which way Tamil Nadu is the no 1 state, from the top or vice versa'', he alleged.
He said with the cooperation of the UPA government led by a Prime Minister like Manmohan Singh, who had genuine concern for the development of every state, the DPA would strive for all round progress of the state and uphold the rights and self respect of Tamils.
''I had entered public life at the age of 13 inspired by the ideals of great leaders of Tamil Nadu like Periyar and Annadurai, who created in me the urge to fight for the self respect of Tamil people'', he said.
''You must also accept this goal and help me achieve it'', the 83-year-old political titan of the state appealed to the people.
UNI VV-GV VD VP0002