Confer Bharat Ratna to Karunanidhi, demands DMK MP

TN Congress backs the move

PTI photo.

DMK member Tiruchi Siva on Friday asked the Centre to posthumously confer Bharat Ratna to the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi as a tribute to his 'outstanding and exemplary work for the people'.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi died on August 7 after a brief illness. The 94-year-old DMK patriarch had served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five times but was never a member of Parliament.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Siva said Karunanidhi was a Dravidian stalwart and the tallest leader of the country.

Karunanidhi contributed 80 years to public life, fighting for the cause of the downtrodden, backward and the suppressed people, he said.

Many members, including Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, associated themselves with Siva's demand.

In a break from tradition, both Houses of Parliament were adjourned on August 8 as a mark of respect to M Karunanidhi.

Siva said Karunanidhi had "a long list of achievements which will bring feathers in his crown."

"He was an outstanding orator, a prolific writer, a novelist, a short-story writer, a philosopher, a philanthropist and also a dramatist. He was an actor and he also wrote scripts for eighty movies. Sir, he is unparalleled and he made a mark in all walks of life," he said. 

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su Thirunavukkarasar backed the demand.

In a statement, he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to honour the departed leader in view of services to the people as a five-time chief minister and contribution to the Indian polity.

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Confer Bharat Ratna to Karunanidhi, demands DMK MP

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