Karunanidhi blames media for resignation demand

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Chennai, Apr 18: Ridiculing the demand for his resignation over the alleged phone tapping issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said he was ''targetted'' by a section of the media as he hailed from the backward class.

Dismissing as ''absurd'' the demand for his resignation, the Chief Minister, while answering a set of questions, said former US President Nixon and former Karnataka Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde had resigned following charges that they themselves had involved in phone tapping. But without even knowing this history, some ''obdurate minded'' people were demanding his resignation for the alleged tapping of telephonic conversation between two officials, he added.

Mr Karunanidhi said the demand for resignation would not have arisen if only he was born with a sacred thread or from the caste which originated from the face of Lord Brahma and not from the caste which orginated from the Lord's foot.

Because he hailed from the backward class community, a section of the people, covering up all the achievements of his Government, have deliberately launched a disinformation campaign against him.

Even after he had ordered a judicial probe, headed by a retired High Court judge, into the issue, a Tamil weekly had criticised the Government, he lamented.

On the DMK Government signing Memoranda of Understanding every week for setting up industries in the State, Mr Karunanidhi said this could be possible as the Government was showing interest in industrial development and maintained cordial relations with industrialists. Answering a question on the Woodlands drive-in restaurant occupying 20 grounds of area in the heart of the city for several years by paying a paltry rent of Rs 20,000 when a middle class family had to pay a rent of Rs 20,000 for a 1,500 sqft house in the city, he said this showed how gullible Tamils were.

On AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa's directive to the party cadres to light lamps on full moon day tomorrow (to dispel the darkness that had engulfed the State), he said the party's Coimbatore unit office bearers themselves have ridiculed such agitations.

Mr Karunanidhi quoted them as having told a Tamil magazine that they were not sure who decided agitations and who gave permission.

The Chief Minister regretted that the AIADMK Legislature party had not come forward to thank him after he suggested that the suspension of two party Legislators for the rest of the budget session be reduced to a week following a request by party whip K A Sengottaiyan.

Stating that he had not expected gratitude from the party leaders in the House, Mr Karunanidhi said he knew what would happen to them if they thanked him in the Assembly for the gesture.

The Chief Minister expressed grief and offered condolences to the families of about 50 school children who were drowned when the bus in which they were travelling plunged into the Narmada canal in Vadodara, Gujarat.


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