Karunanidhi gives up fasting

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Chennai, Oct 1 (UNI) In a sudden development, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today decided against observing a day-long fast, deferring to the wishes expressed by the alliance party leaders.

The octogenarian Chief Minister, who came to the fasting venue in front of the state guest house at 0900 hrs, sat with the leaders of alliance parties till 1130 hrs and announced that he was taking leave.

Inaugurating the statewide fast, Mr Karunanidhi said though he wanted to take part in the fast along with other leaders, he was taking leave in view of the alliance party leaders expressing concern over his health condition and appealing him to leave.

''Though the fast has already begun, I am taking leave of you temporarily,'' the DMK leader said before the fasting venue.

DPA leaders, including TNCC President M Krishnasamy, PMK founder-leader Dr S Ramadoss, CPI(M) leader N Varadarajan, CPI leader D Pandian, DPI leader Thol Thirumavalavan and Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani, continued their fast, launched to press for the speedy implementation of the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project.

Mr Karunanidhi's taking part in the day-long fast became doubtful last night, when leaders of the alliance parties at a public meeting suggested that he could leave after inaugurating the fast. The DMK leader, however, said he would take a decision this morning after getting his health condition assessed.

Meanwhile, one version had it that Mr Karunanidhi ''ended'' his fast in the wake of the Opposition AIADMK, which had obtained a stay against the bandh, moving the Supreme Court this morning, demanding action against the DMK-led DPA leaders for observing the fast.


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