DMK downplays MK's quit call

'Chief minister indispensable to government and party'

DMK downplays MK's quit call

KarunanidhiThe ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu on Sunday downplayed their 85-year-old leader and Chief Minister M  Karunanidhi’s statement on Saturday night that he might move away from active politics after June 2010.

Karunanidhi’s choice of words at a function to felicitate him by some Dalit organisations that he would “set aside” political and ministerial positions to “work for your uplift by being amidst you”, did create a flutter, but only to be toned down by the party barely a day later.  “He has been saying this for some time, stemming more from a desire for rest, but it is a matter which the party’s top-most body has to decide and we will not allow him to quit,” DMK sources told Deccan Herald  here.

‘Doing well’

Though Karunanidhi’s younger son and Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin has been “doing well” in his job, sources said that at both the government and party level, the DMK veteran remains indispensable as there was none yet to match his political maturity, skills and administrative acumen.

By saying he would give up active politics after the construction of the new assembly complex, a world-class digital library in memory of DMK  founder Annadurai and after holding the World Classical Tamil Conference at Coimbatore by June-end 2010,   Karunanidhi was perhaps venting his personal anxiety and giving himself a “road-map” for possible retirement.

What baffles the party is that he should choose to utter his intent when two byelections to the state assembly are due in less than a fortnight.

However, on the health front, he was much better now than he was three months ago, sources said, adding, Karunanidhi had even resumed his morning exercises in a limited way even if largely confined to a wheelchair.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader M Venkiah Naidu on Sunday evening urged the UPA government to immediately send an all-party delegation to Sri Lanka, to take up at the highest level there the need for a proper resettlement of the internally displaced Tamils in the northern region.

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