Unveiling of statues not a bargain on disputes: Karunanidhi

"The statues' unveiling is not being done as a bargain to solve the water disputes but aimed at good permanent mutual relations. It is being done only with the intention of ensuring friendly relations," Karunanidhi told reporters on his return from Bangalore where he unveiled the statue of Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar on Sunday.

In what is seen as statue diplomacy, the Thiruvalluvar statue was unveiled after an 18-year wait due to opposition from Kannada outfits. A statue of Kannada poet Sarvajna will be unveiled by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa here on August 13.

On whether his bete noire and opposition leader Jayalalithaa would be invited for the August 13 programme, Karunanidhi said his government would do so.

Replying to a question on the Hogennakkal scheme to provide drinking water to Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts using Cauvery water, to which Karnataka is opposed, Karunanidhi hoped that the issue would be resolved "amicably".

Asked whether he was "hopeful" of ending the deadlock, Karunanidhi said "we have to travel towards hope... things will end amicably," but did not elaborate.

Informing that the venue for the unveiling ceremony of Sarvajna statue at Ayanavaram here has been shifted to a nearby location for want of space, Karunanidhi said, "The statue would be located at the same place where it is being readied but only the stage would be erected at a nearby playground.

The CM further added that he had visited the site (where the statue has been erected) this morning and found that it could not accommodate the huge crowd that was expected to gather during the unveiling ceremony.

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