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DMK seeks probe by sitting HC judge over Jayalalithaa’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a Madras High Court judge expressed doubts over the circumstances leading to the demise of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, DMK on Friday sought a comprehensive probe by a sitting HC judge into the death.”A comprehensive probe must be done by a sitting judge of the High Court and people should be told the truth,” DMK Treasurer M K Stalin said.Against the backdrop of the court raising questions, he said it was imperative for the government to come out comprehensively on the medical treatment provided to the former AIADMK chief.In a statement here, he said complete medical bulletins, video footage and photos of her getting treatment at the hospital should be released.Citing Justice Vaidyanathan’s observation yesterday that he may consider ordering exhumation of the body of the departed leader, he said “it is imperative for the government to release comprehensive information”.Stalin, who had earlier sought a white paper on the treatment given to Jayalalithaa, said there was no statement from the government ever since she was admitted to the hospital on September 22.He said the Centre and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had a duty to answer questions related to the treatment provided for the late leader. Doctors from Delhi’s AIIMS too had treated her, he said.If the ruling regime had explained the “true (health) status” of Jayalalithaa and released pictures of her getting treatment, the issue could not have reached the doorsteps of court, he said.He recalled a statement of his party chief Karunanidhi seeking release of pictures of Jayalalithaa being treated and said, “had the ruling side not viewed it from the prism of politics, the issue would not have come to such a pass”.Only such activities has cast a “cloud, giving room for suspicion,” among the people, he said, adding it was the right of the people to know about the treatment given to her and the circumstances leading to her death.

Tamil Nadu: DMK General Council meet on January 4

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK announced that its General Council meeting on Monday, which was deferred in view of M Karunanidhi’s hospitalisation, would be held on January 4, 2017.DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan said that the General Council, originally slated on December 20 under its President M Karunanidhi, will now be held next month.The General Council was earlier scheduled on December 20 amidst an increasing chorus from Stalin’s supporters for his elevation.Stalin, also leader of the opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, was expected to be appointed working president of the party in the General Council, the powerful decision-making body of DMK.However, the meet was deferred following Karunanidhi’s hospitalisation due to lung and throat infection.Karunanidhi was discharged from the private hospital on December 23.

Rahul Gandhi meets Karunanidhi, says DMK chief is doing well

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday called on DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, who is undergoing treatment for lung and throat infection at a private hospital here, and said the leader was doing well.”I just met him, I wanted to personally wish him a speedy recovery. I was very happy to see that he is doing well and the doctors told me that he is going to go home pretty soon and that is good news,” he told reporters.Flanked by senior party leaders including Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su Thirunavukkarasar and DMK treasurer M K Stalin, he hailed Karuananidhi as a “leader of the Tamil people, leader of Tamil Nadu, so I thought I would come and wish him personally.”To a query, he said, “Yes I met him (Karunanidhi), I said hello to him and he is doing well hopefully he will be out (of the hospital) soon and Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) has also sent her regards to him.”The 92-year-old Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauvery Hospital here on the night of December 15 following complaints of difficulty in breathing due to throat and lung infection. Yesterday, he underwent tracheostomy at the hospital to optimise breathing and later the hospital said the DMK chief’s condition was stable. Last night, after the tracheostomy procedure, his condition improved and even he watched a Rajinikanth starrer ‘Batcha’ on his laptop.This is the first visit that Rahul Gandhi is paying a visit to Karunanidhi in last many years. Even during his several previous visits to Tamil Nadu Gandhi he did not call on the nonagenarian leader though Congress and DMK are allies. Weeks ago, when he had visited Apollo Hospitals here to enquire about the health of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, there were expectations in the DMK camp that he could pay a visit to party patriarch Karunanidhi as well. However, he did not visit the DMK chief then Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh during his brief visit. After visiting Karunanidhi, Rahul Gandhi immediately took a flight to Delhi from here. Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP, P Chidambaram, TNCC president Thirunavukkarasar, Congress Legislature Party leader Ramasamy received him at the airport and also later saw him off.

Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa: Power remains firmly in Poes Garden, for now

Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa: Power remains firmly in Poes Garden, for now


J Jayalalithaa is dead and her party cadre is jostling to dive before Jaya’s aide V K Sasikala and touch her feet. What does this mean for party politics and does it matter all that much when the real test looms – elections? As political parties circle overhead, Sasikala rules from Poes Garden and O Panneerselvam does what he does best – keeping the peace and turning down the volume. The circumstances surrounding Jaya’s death remain shrouded in mystery, her super-fans are livid and the final word on the

Sasikala Natarajan rules from Poes Garden / PTISasikala Natarajan rules from Poes Garden / PTI

Sasikala Natarajan rules from Poes Garden / PTI

disproportionate assets case – the one in which Jaya and Sasikala were jailed – is still to come. Narayan Lakshman of The Hindu and Nikhila Natarajan catch up for a chat barely 500 mts from where Jayalalithaa lies buried, in a casket that’s been locked many times over with gold plated keys.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 17:00 IST

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Karunanidhi hospitalised: DMK President stable after undergoing tracheostomy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> DMK President M Karunanidhi underwent tracheostomy at a private hospital in Chennai to optimise breathing and his condition was stable. The 92-year-old leader, who was readmitted to Kauvery Hospital here late last night with breathing difficulties due to throat and lung infection, has undergone tracheostomy to optimise breathing, Dr S Aravindan, Executive Director, Kauvery Hospital, said in a statement.”Karunanidhi is stable,” he said, adding that the former chief minister is being treated with antibiotics and being monitored by a team of doctors.Meanwhile, senior DMK leaders kept thronging the hospital to enquire about the health of the party supremo. Karunanidhi’s readmission to the hospital comes about a week after he was discharged from there on December 7, following week-long treatment for drug-induced allergy. On October 25, DMK had announced that Karunanidhi was suffering from allergy “caused by a medicine he has been using” and advised rest by doctors. The leader, who has of late not been seen regularly in public, has confined himself to his home, although he has been issuing statements and reacting on key matters such as demonetization . He had also skipped campaigning during the by-election to three state Assembly seats last month. Ruling AIADMK won all three constituencies.

Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Shasikala’ plan catches AIADMK, Sasikala off guard

Coming soon to a theatre near you will be Shasikala. That is if filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s planned cinematic venture on the life and times of VK Sasikala, the trusted confidante of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa does not get dragged to the courts. Given the AIADMK’s penchant for intimidating opponents through legal battles, chances of Varma’s venture landing up in court are quite high.

Varma hopes to get around that rather simplistically. His central character is called Shasikala, not Sasikala. The extra ‘H’ is RGV’s fig leaf to claim this is his own story and a fictional character.



On Thursday, the day the AIADMK spokesperson announced that Sasikala will be the next general secretary of the party, Varma registered the title of the film. Explaining the rationale for making the film on Sasikala, Varma tweeted saying he respected Jayalalithaa but he respected Sasikala much more. “Jayalalithaa ji respected Sasikala ji much more than she respected anybody else proves why I should call my film Shasikala,” he tweeted.

“I find it fascinating that just a close confidante of a person in power can create so much turbulence in so many ways,” says Varma. The filmmaker claims he is essentially interested in Sasikala, the person. Varma who has just started writing the script says the film will deal with the period from the time Sasikala first met Jayalalithaa, till the former CM’s death.

“It will be the biography of Sasikala’s journey with Amma,” explains Varma. “I think Amma seen from the point of view of someone so close to her will be much more interesting.” He plans to speak to people who have known the 59-year-old Sasikala over the past four decades.

“This will be an outside interpretation of happenings on a public domain mixed with personal information from sources close to her, who may not wish to be named,” says Varma. As of now, RGV does not plan to seek permissions from anyone before shooting the film. The AIADMK taken by surprise by Varma’s move has not formulated its stand on the filmmaker’s decision, as it is preoccupied with more pressing matters of succession.

Through his career, Varma has shown a fascination with making movies on real life characters. His Company in 2002 was a take on the underworld war between Dawood Ibrahim and Chotta Rajan. His Rakta Charitra in 2010 is one of the best movies to capture the politics of blood and gore in Andhra Pradesh’s Rayalaseema region.

More recently, Varma captured the life of forest brigand Veerappan. The movie received rave reviews for his lead character’s uncanny resemblance to the bandit and the stylish manner in which it was shot in the forests of Karnataka. Varma’s Telugu venture Vangaveeti which is based on the life of politician Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga and the violent gang warfare and politics of Vijayawada in the 70s and the 80s in Andhra Pradesh will release on 23 December. Varma who himself grew up in Vijayawada and has experienced the turbulence firsthand has said that making a film on the controversial politician was his dream project. Like Veerappan’s wife who went to court against the movie, Ranga’s family has also raised objections to Vangaveeti.

“Real life stories are fascinating because they deal with real emotions and hence the connect is much more,” says Varma, explaining his obsession with people rooted in present-day politics and conflicts.

Interestingly, both Sasikala and Ram Gopal Varma have one thing in common. Both have been video library owners, back in the era when video cassettes were a rage.

The last big budget movie made on the life and times of Dravidian politicians was Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar in 1997, in which Mohanlal played MGR. Jayalalithaa’s role was essayed by Aishwarya Rai while Prakash Raj played Karunanidhi. Varma is undecided if Shasikala will be only in Tamil or will have a Telugu and Hindi version as well.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 16:06 IST

DNA Morning Must Reads: Finance Secretary assures focus on Rs 500 notes; Karunanidhi hospitalised again; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Focus is now on Rs 500 notes, assures finance secretaryClose to Rs 5 lakh crore or 33% of additional notes had already been brought back into the system. Read more.2. Ensure cash crunch ends by Jan 15, BJP MPs tell Amit ShahMPs told party president that demonetization has overshadowed the positive impact of surgical strikes. Read more.3. Karunanidhi hospitalised again with lung infection, breathing difficultyDaughter Kanimozhi said he is better now. Read more.4. Rahul Gandhi seeks appointment with PM ModiRahul has also sought appointment from PM Modi to present a list of demands of farmers that he apparently collected during his extensive tour of election bound state of Uttar Pradesh. Read more.5. I don’t even compete with myself: Sushant Singh RajputSushant Singh Rajput on having the time of his life just pursuing acting and doing little else. Read more.

Karunanidhi admitted to hospital for throat and lung infection

Karunanidhi admitted to hospital for throat and lung infection



Chennai: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DML) President M Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauvery Hospital again on Thursday night due to throat and lung infection, said the hospital.

In a statement issued in Chennai, the hospital said Karunanidhi was readmitted with breathing difficulty due to throat and lung infection.

“The treatment has been initiated to clear his infection. He is stable and is being treated by a team of doctors,” the statement said.

Karunanidhi’s second spell of hospitalisation this month comes after a short interval.

It was only on 7 December, Karunanidhi was discharged from the hospital after being admitted on 1 December for optimisation of nutrition and hydration.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 08:16 IST

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Karunanidhi hospitalised again with lung infection, breathing difficulty

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK President M Karunanidhi was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai late Thursday night for treatment of cold and indigestion, party sources said. The 93-year-old former Chief Minister was admitted to Kauveri hospital late tonight, they said. Karunanidhi’s admission in the same hospital comes about a week after he was discharged from there after undergoing treatment for drug-induced allergy. The DMK supremo’s daughter Kanimozhi told media persons outside the hospital, “He had some lung infection and breathing difficulty, he is much better.’Meanwhile, the hospital said Karunanidhi was readmitted with breathing difficulty due to throat and lung infection. “Treatment has been initiated to clear his infection. He is stable and is being treated by a team of doctors”, said Dr S Aravindan, Executive Director, Kauveri Hospital, in a statement.

Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi admitted to hospital again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK chief M Karunanidhi was on Thursday night admitted to Cauvery hospital in Chennai again, just a week after he was discharged.Karunanidhi was discharged from the Cauvery hospital on December 7, where he was admitted on December 1 for dehydration and allergy related issues. The hospital in a statement said that Karunanidhi has improved substantially after medical treatment.”All his vital signs and biochemical parameters have normalised now. He has been advised rest and Cauvery Hospital will continue to assess and provide the necessary medical and nursing care to facilitate his recuperation at home,” it added.The DMK chief was reportedly down with allergy-related ailment for over a month.Further details awaited(With ANI inputs)

DMK, AIADMK in catch 22 over leadership issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Both the AIADMK and the DMK are in a piquant situation — have to amend the party constitution to elevate Sasikala and Karunanidhi’s son Stalin respectively for them to play a larger and key role. Senior AIADMK leaders including Chief Minister o Panneerselvam and his cabinet colleagues (most of whom double up as secretaries of the party’s district units) have urged Jayalalithaa’s aide V K Sasikala to take over the post of general secretary hitherto held by Jayalalithaa.In the last three days, they have met Sasikala often to press their demand so as to keep the party together. Panneerselvam has even given a statement asking her to lead the party as it required ‘military Discipline” and she knew the nuances of political moves to counter the opposition.A problem which the party has to surmount is the Constitution — Section 30 (5) of the AIADMK Rules and Regulations stipulates : Those who want to contest for the post of office beaers of the organisation should have been member of the party for five years without any break’. In December 2011, Sasikala and her close relatives as also her husband M Natarajan, were expelled from the AIADMK by Jayalalithaa. Sasikala was also asked to leave the Poe’s Garden residence of Jayalalithaa. It was only in April 2012 that Jayalalithaa took Sasikala back into the Garden.Though the date of her re-admission into the party is not known, it is possible that this too must have been in April 2012. Since it is only a little over four years since the re-entry of Sasikala, technically she cannot be considered for any post. Therefore, when the party general Council meets in April as is likely, it would have to amend the Constitution to reduce this period from five to four years or the Executive Committee can pass a resolution, making out a special case for Sasikala and get it ratified by the General Council later. Similarly, an amendment would be required to create a new post for Sasikala in case she opts for a post like Joint General Secretary or Additional General Secretary.Sasikala has so far not given any indication to the party leaders about her response to their request. Perhaps, all the district units and general Council members may be asked to sign a memorandum containing their request to Sasikala — for her to be sure of near–unanimous support, and to ensure it is a smooth affair. Meanwhile, the main opposition DMK is also grappling with legal and technical issues to elevate Stalin. While Stalin’s supporters have been urging his father to make him party President so as to inject some energy into the party, Karunanidhi seems to be reluctant to part with his own post . Karunanidhi realises that the moment he gives up the post of president, he would get sidelined. At the same time, he needs to give more importance to Stalin in order to get work done and to build the party.Those close to Karunanidhi have suggested that the post of a Working President be created for Stalin, which would ensure that Karunanidhi remains the President, even while meeting Stalin supporters half-way.The DMK has convened a meeting of its General Council on December 20. Although the agenda is not known, the elevation of Stalin is on the cards. The party needs the General Council to adopt a resolution and amend the Constitution to pave the way for Stalin. The AIADMK and the DMK are running on a parallel track these last few months. The leaders of both parties were hospitalized one after the other. Both parties are also facing the need to find new leadership. While AIADMK lost its leader, Karunanidhi needs rest.

DMK General Council meeting on December 20

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The DMK’s top decision-making body, General Council, will meet here on December 20, the first time after the party’s electoral loss at the hands of archrival AIADMK in the May 2016 Assembly polls to discuss “constructive activities” of the party.Party President M Karunanidhi will chair the meeting, slated at DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam, DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan said in a statement on Saturday. The GC members will take up “constructive activities” of the party, he added.The meeting also comes in the wake of demands from a section of the party calling for elevation of DMK Treasurer MK Stalin to a higher post.Political situation in the state, especially after J Jayalalithaa’s demise and her staunch loyalist O Panneerselvam taking over as the new chief minister, will be looked into. The party will also take stock of the political situation in the state after its defeat in the May 2016 Assembly polls and ahead of the civic bodies polls.

Karunanidhi discharged from hospital, but won’t meet people

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK Chief M Karunanidhi has been advised rest and will not meet people as he has been asked to remain cautious against contracting any infection following his discharge from a private hospital in Chennai, the party said on Thursday. “Although Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) has returned from Kauvery Hospital after receiving treatment for the past few days, doctors have advised he should take rest for a few more days and that he be careful and cautious against contracting any infection till then,” the party said in a statement.Therefore, DMK workers and Karunanidhi’s friends have been advised not to pay a visit to the the 93 year-old leader, it said and sought cooperation from them in this regard. Karunanidhi was discharged from Kauvery hospital in Chennai on Wednesday after a week-long treatment for nutritional and hydration support.The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was admitted there on December 1 after being treated at home for a drug-induced allergy. “After medical treatment, he has improved substantially and was discharged from the hospital today,” Kauvery Hospital Executive Director Dr S Aravindan had said on Wednesday.
ALSO READ Karunanidhi discharged from hospital; advised restHe had said that the hospital will continue to assess and provide necessary medical and nursing care to facilitate the DMK chief’s recuperation at home. The drug-induced allergy has virtually kept Karunanidhi out of public activities for the past one month.

Karunanidhi discharged from hospital; advised rest

Thu, 8 Dec 2016-12:16am , Chennai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK chief M Karunanidhi was discharged on Wednesday from a private hospital in Chennai after a week-long treatment for nutritional and hydration support.The 93-year-old former Tamil Nadu chief minister was admitted to the Kauvery Hospital on December 1 after being treated at home for a drug-induced allergy. “After medical treatment, he has improved substantially and was discharged from the hospital today,” Kauvery Hospital Executive Director Dr S Aravindan said.In a statement, he said the DMK chief’s vital signs and bio-chemical parameters have normalised now. “He has been advised rest and Kauvery Hospital will continue to assess and provide necessary medical and nursing care to facilitate his recuperation at home,” he said. The drug-induced allergy has virtually kept Karunanidhi out of public activities for the past one month.

Veteran journalist Cho Ramaswamy passes away, PM Modi, dignitaries pay last respect

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran journalist, former Rajya Sabha Member, political commentator and satirist Cho Ramaswamy passed away early on Wednesday morning in a private hospital in Chennai due to age-related problems.Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister O Paneerselvam, DMK leader M K Stalin and superstar Rajnikanth were among those who paid floral tributes to Cho at his residence. The 82-year-old, who was admitted to Apollo Hospitals last week for respiratory problems, is survived by his wife, son and daughter.In his tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a multidimensional personality, towering intellectual and a great nationalist. “Cho Ramaswamy was insightful, frank & brilliant. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family & countless readers of Thuglak,” Modi said. “Above all, Cho Ramaswamy was a dear friend. I have been to his annual readers meeting, which were an unprecedented editor reader interface,” he said.
ALSO READ Pained by demise of dear friend Cho Ramaswamy: PM ModiA wreath was laid on the mortal remains of Cho on behalf of Modi, the Tamil Nadu government said in a release. The wreath was laid by State Protocol Officer Shiv Das Meena, it said. A stream of admirers, literary personalities and those from the cinema and theatre world also paid tributes to Cho at his residence.A lawyer by profession, Cho was a popular name in theatre, cinema and journalism. He was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1999 to 2005.Condoling his death, Governor Rao said he was a multi-faceted personality. “I am deeply shocked and grieved to hear about the sad demise of Cho Ramaswamy, an actor, editor, lawyer and writer. He was a multifaceted personality, a bold, veteran journalist and a political critic who never hesitated to express his views unequivocally,” he said in a Raj Bhavan statement. The field of journalism “has lost a doyen and a great personality,” he said.Panneerselvam, accompanied by his cabinet colleagues C Srinivasan, Edappadi K Palaniswamy, P Thangamani and S P Velumani, paid homage to Ramaswamy. DMK President M Karunanidhi, in a statement, said despite political differences, Ramaswamy had great love and affection for him. He was a friend and a political critic who could convey his message with humour, he said.Rajinikanth described Ramaswamy as a “close friend” and recalled they had been friends since 1978. “Whenever I was in Chennai, I used to visit him at least once a week,” he told reporters after paying homage to Cho. “His death is not an ordinary loss,” he added.

Jayalalithaa dead: A reluctant politician, who made welfarism part of statecraft

One of the first dents in Jayalalithaa’s (her name is sometimes spelled Jayalalitha) popularity was when she held a conspicuously ostentatious wedding for her foster son VN Sudhakaran who was the nephew of her close confidante Sasikala Natarajan.

This was in 1996 and people believed this was the most expensive wedding ever seen in Tamil Nadu with its two-kilometre long illuminated barat route, ten dining halls which could accommodate over 2.5 lakh guests and elaborate wedding pandal that covered over 75,000 square feet. Each wedding card was accompanied with a silver plate, silk sari and a silk dhoti and is said to have cost over Rs 20,000

Sudhakaran was said to be groomed to become Jayalalithaa’s heir and was getting married to Shivaji Ganesan’s granddaughter Sathyalakshmi.

A supporter Jayalalithaa holds her photo. ReutersA supporter Jayalalithaa holds her photo. Reuters

A supporter Jayalalithaa holds her photo. Reuters

By today’s standards, the wedding can hardly be described as ostentatious, overtaken as it is by other even more ostentatious weddings. If this wedding had cost her Rs 100 crore, twenty years later, mining magnet Janardhan Reddy’s daughter’s wedding held at the Bengaluru Palace Grounds is reported to have cost over Rs 550 crore. For the wedding of Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari’s daughter, about 30 chartered flights touched down in Nagpur.

An angry former chief minister M Karunanidhi had in 1996 asked how arch rival Jayalalithaa had spent so much money when she drew just rupee one as salary every month. Women groups and lawyers went to town over her extravaganza and managed to whip up a wave of anti-Jayalalithaa sentiment accusing her of misusing public machinery for a private function.

This was followed by police raids on her residence where they netted over 11,000 saris, 750 pairs of shoes and a three-pound diamond studded gold belt.

She found herself being accused of being another Imelda Marcos, the wife of deposed Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, who was found (following raids) to have 3,000 pairs of shoes in her closet.

The adverse publicity saw the party losing elections in May 1996 and she herself was defeated from the Bargur constituency. This was a low period for Jayalalithaa because it saw 48 cases being slapped against her and her aide Sasikala. On 27 August 1996, she snapped ties with Sasikala and disowned her foster son Sudhakaran. December of the same year saw her being arrested and having to spend a month in prison.

This one month period must have been a learning curve for her because after her release, it saw Jayalalithaa emerge as someone who shunned ostentation. She dressed simply and wore no jewellery. She also publicly promised to change and devote herself to the welfare of her citizens.

She kept her promise and introduced several welfare schemes across the state. Following her re-election, she started a number of populist schemes aimed at creating a strong base for her party. In this, she succeeded.

Her Amma canteens, Amma pharmacies, the mixers and grinders, and colour TV sets given to the voters won her the hearts of the Tamilian people.

Even prior to her release from jail, she had a marked pro-people tilt. In 1991, she swept the elections with the AIADMK party winning 225 seats out of 234. The women in Tamil Nadu had rallied around in large numbers. And it was in one such election rally which I attended that she announced that all girl students passing the tenth standard would be given a bicycle.

The cradle baby scheme for girl infants who are deserted by their families along with TASMAC was also introduced.
These and several other welfare measures have ensured that Tamil Nadu has some of the best social indicators amongst all the states in the country. For a leader who was a reluctant politician and started out as an ostentatious displayer of power and pelf, it is no small matter that one of the principal reasons why she will be remembered for is making welfarism an accepted, even emulated, part of statecraft.

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 08:04 IST

Jayalalithaa-Karunanidhi rivalry: How a poet and an actress ruled the state

Best remembered as her political rival, DMK leader M Karunanidhi — himself hospitalised — condoled the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who passed away at Chennai’s Apollo Hospitals on Monday night.

“I offer deep condolences on the passing away of Jayalalithaa. Wishes of lakhs of her followers will make her immortal,” Karunanidhi said.

The DMK patriarch’s tribute sounds gregarious, but for those in the know when it comes to Tamil Nadu politics, the two were fierce adversaries; opposing titans in Dravidian politics, post the MGR era. To revisit their rivalry, one would first have to visit their entry into politics, which takes root in the Dravidian movement, something that still holds good with any political party in Tamil Nadu. (Case in point, the DMK, AIADMK, MDMK, DMDK)

File image of Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi. ReutersFile image of Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi. Reuters

File image of Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi. Reuters

It all started with the emergence of a series of non-Brahmin conferences in the then Madras Presidency in the 1900s, which gave rise to the Justice Party, established in 1916 by Dr TM Nair, P Theagaraya Chettiar and Dr C Natesa Mudaliar — who also to their credit have roads named after them in Chennai. The seeds sown by the Justice Party along with the Self Respect Movement started by EV Periyar took formidable shape in the late 19th century — in 1938, The Indian Express reports, the Justice Party and the Self Respect Movement came together to form the Dravida Kazhagam, which aimed to serve as an anti-Brahmin, anti-Congress and an anti-North Indian outfit. This was mainly to counter the Rajagopalachari-led Congress’ move to impose Hindi in the state; DK then launched the anti-Hindi agitations of 1937-40. (Hindi is still a thorn in Tamil Nadu’s flesh)

Annadurai, who became the party’s first general secretary, left the DK after he differed with Periyar on India’s independence and formed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 1949. The DMK further split in 1972 when actor-turned-politician MG Ramachandran (MGR) was expelled from the party, writes Frontline, following differences between him and M Karunanidhi, primarily a screenwriter and an orator, who served as party president. MGR went on to launch the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK), which later took on the prefix of ‘All India’ during the Emergency. The AIADMK did split into two factions following MGR’s death, one led by the wife Janaki Ramachandran and the other by Jayalalithaa and in 1989 the two factions merged.

History aside, Karunanidhi is known to have built his political career on his oratorical flourishes — his fiery speeches sometimes leave nothing to the imagination or a whole lot, they provoke with the pulse of a fiery rhetoric. This piece in Fountain Ink describes the public craze surrounding Karunanidhi’s poetry.

“There were times when scores of people would pour out of their homes to hear Karunanidhi’s poetry, see MGR and Jayalalithaa.”

In fact, he earned his sobriquet Kalaignar because he spoke “Tamil with a poetic fervour and his skills in oratory and writing  were widely appreciated”, writes Vaasanthi in Cut-outs, Caste and Cines Stars. It is also known that Karunanidhi, born into a poor Isai Vellalar family (members who nurtured arts and music), took pride in being called Kalaignar. The Caravan, in a splendid profile of him and his family, writes that his father “introduced him to the epics, oral stories and music”. But it was really his work for the Sivaji Ganesan-starrer Parasakthi that catapulted him into fame. Adapted from the eponymous play, Karunanidhi was signed to write the script.

Randor Guy writes for The Hindu that, “the powerful writing of Karunanidhi, the atheistic stance, the performance of the unknown newcomer all this and more took the world by storm”. Parasakthi not only made Sivaji famous but also Karunanidhi; the latter used films as a medium to spread the party’s ideology, which still pays the dividends for DMK. His speeches drew crowds and how!

Sample this poem by Karunanidhi where he describes his body as a sacrifice to Tamil people, “if you dash me against the rocks, I will break into the flakes of a coconut; you can pick these up and eat them, and rejoice”. Further, out of his great devotion to Tirukkural, Karunanidhi even built a monument for Tiruvalluvar, Valluvar Kottom, in Chennai.

Contrast this with the late Jayalalithaa, who started out as an actress — a glamorous entry that shot her to fame — only to make herself less attractive and grow into a matriarchal role, of that as ‘Amma’. Vaasanthi reinforces this view in her biography of Jayalalithaa, writing that the latter consciously set out to “de-glamourise her appearance, perhaps in an attempt to wipe out the stigma attached to her as an actress”. It was exactly this “stigma” that drew in crowds for the AIADMK: A party conference at Cuddalore was organised, and it was no surprise that the whole town gathered to hear the star speaker deliver her maiden political speech. “They mainly came to see a pretty face, and were instead treated to an impressive, fiery oration,” Vaasanthi writes.

Perhaps enjoying the rush, Jayalalithaa joined the AIADMK in June 1982; the DMK described the event as “Cuddalore cabaret” in its mouthpiece.

However, after she became AIADMK’s party secretary she stuck to a simple white sari sans jewellery, and instead stepping up her oratorical game. Her emotionally-charged speeches always contained the trademark questions — “neengal seiveerhala (Will you fulfill it)?” asking the crowd whether they would vote for AIADMK and defeat the opposition. The other thing that usually worked in favour of Jayalalithaa is the elevation to a near-goddess status and her projection of an emotional attachment to the late MGR — as someone who carried forward his legacy.

Jayalalitha’s photograph has also frequently been superimposed onto various images of the goddess in AIADMK propaganda material, especially that of her being depicted as the Virgin Mary in posters commissioned for her 47th birthday.

The incident that stemmed their enmity finds its base in the shameful attempt to disrobe Jayalalithaa in 1989 in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly where Jayalalithaa accused the DMK of harassing her and tapping her phones. Karunanidhi retorted with a reportedly unfavourable remark that made Jayalalithaa furious and caused a ruckus in the Assembly. As the speaker adjourned the House and Jayalalithaa was making her exit, Duraimurugan clutched her sari and tried to pull it. She then vowed to never step foot inside the Assembly until she won the next election and until conditions were made favourable for women. In 1991, AIADMK triumphed DMK and took 224 seats, while the latter was reduced to a single digit, seven.

First Published On : Dec 6, 2016 14:13 IST

DMK chief M Karunanidhi hospitalised, had been suffering from allergy

Chennai: DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, who had been suffering from an allergy, was on Thursday admitted to Kauvery hospital here for “check up”, party sources said.

M Karunanidhi. PTI

M Karunanidhi. PTI

The 93-year-old former Tamil Nadu chief minister was taken to the hospital early morning, they said.

The hospital authorities said that Karunanidhi was “admitted for optimisation of nutrition and hydration.”

“He is stable and being treated by a team of doctors. He will be in the hospital for few days,” Aravindan Selvaraj, Executive Director of the hospital said.

Karunanidhi has been avoiding public appearances for the past one month as he was undergoing treatment for an allergy and had skipped campaigning for the bypolls to three Tamil Nadu Assembly seats last month.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 08:20 IST

Demonetisation: DMK to hold state-wide protests on 28 November

Chennai: With CPM deciding to observe 28 November as ‘All-India Protest Day’, on the Centre’s demonetisation issue, DMK on Thursday said it would stage protests outside central government offices in the state on that day.

Karunanidhi. PTIKarunanidhi. PTI

Karunanidhi. PTI

Party chief M Karunanidhi said ‘opposition leaders’ — the Left parties — had decided to hold countrywide protests against the ruling BJP on the issue and that DMK will protest outside central government offices in Tamil Nadu.

“As far as DMK is concerned, massive protest demonstrations will be held outside central government offices in all the districts with the cooperation of the people,” he said in a statement.

He urged good participation by party workers and asked them to voice support against this “anti-people” move of the Centre.

Karunanidhi also lashed out at the Centre, saying the common man was severely suffering.

He criticised Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu for saying that demonetisation will not be rolled back, claiming it had further “complicated” the situation.

First Published On : Nov 24, 2016 13:08 IST

AIADMK’s win in polls an ‘artificial victory’: DMK President M Karunanidhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK President M Karunanidhi on Wednesday said the ruling AIADMK’s win in all three Tamil Nadu Assembly seats where polls were held on November 19 was not surprising as the party had “misused” authority and money power to engineer an “artificial victory”.”There is no surpise or anything new in the ruling AIADMK’s win in the three constituencies in Tamil Nadu. DMK’s hard work could not stand before misuse of authority and money power,” he said. Karunanidhi alleged that “money power has once again won” in Tamil Nadu. “Therefore this is an artificial victory,” he said in a statement.He also congratulated his “dear friend”, Puduchery Chief Minister V Narayansamy for leading the ruling Congress there to a “massive win” in the Nellithope bypoll.Continuing its electoral dominance over arch rival DMK amidst hospitalisation of its supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, AIADMK had on Tuesday romped home in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi polls as well as the Thiruparankundram bypoll.AIADMK had wrested the Aravakkurichi seat from DMK and retained Thanjavur and Thiruparankundram by margins ranging from more than 20,000 to 42,000 votes, dealing a blow to its Dravidian rival.

Demonetization: DMK to stage human chain protest on November 24

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK said on Saturday it would form a ‘human chain’ on November 24 protesting against the Centre’s “haste” in implementing demonetization and the state government for “not taking any action” in addressing people’s grievances.”Because of the haste in implementing the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, and the sudden decision made (by Prime Minister Narendra Modi) on November 8, there is no end to the difficulties being faced by the people,” DMK Chief M Karunanidhi said. The poor and common people were standing in queues for long hours to exchange the now defunct notes while traders were facing loss of business, he said.”Prime Minister Modi has not replied to all the parties debating the issue in Parliament to solve people’s problems. While other state Chief Ministers are strongly condemning the move, the state government has not taken any action,” he said in a statement. Therefore, to “condemn Central and state governments,” and press the Centre to make suitable announcement to mitigate people’s problems, DMK will hold state-wide human chain protest on November 24 between 4-5 pm, he said.The respective district secretaries of the party will lead the protests, Karunanidhi said, and urged people, traders and workers to join the protest.

Even UPA banned FTV, AXN: BJP hits back at ‘second Emergency’ charges over NDTV ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war of words over the one-day ban on Hindi news channel NDTV India by the Centre escalated with I and B minister Venkaiah Naidu saying it was in the interest of “country’s security” and the opposition asserting the action will lead to “second Emergency”. Naidu while denouncing references to the Emergency in the context of the order for blackout of the channel on November 9 over its coverage of Pathankot attack slammed the opposition parties for “politicisation” of such issues, noting that the Modi government has the highest regard for freedom of media. Listing out the names of some of the channels that were banned in the past, he said, “AXN was banned for two months. FTV was banned for two months. Enter10 for one day. ABN AndhraJyoti seven days. Al Jazeera was banned for five days for showing wrong map of India. “These are all done earlier. Now they are saying it is done for the first time, murder of democracy, Emergency reminiscent and all,” the Information and Broadcasting Minister noted. Official sources gave details of “warnings” issued by the previous UPA regime against the NDTV group over telecast of some of its programmes. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and fellow JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, DMK chief M Karunanidhi, BSP supremo Mayawati and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav hit out at the Centre, calling the ban an “insult to freedom of expression” and demanded its withdrawal. The CPI(M) politburo said it showed the “authoritarian” attitude of the Modi government. Justifying the government’s decision, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said NDTV India appeared to have violated the guidelines issued by the Centre over live coverage of an anti-terror operation.Addressing a press conference in Chennai, Naidu also slammed Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for “talking about the dark days of Emergency”.”I was surprised, aghast. Some people talked of Emergency-like situation. The action was taken in the interest of the country’s safety and security”, he said, adding, “Politicisation of such issues will affect the safety and security of the country.”Parrikar stressed that it was a security related issue and the channel appeared to have violated guidelines for coverage of terror attacks. “It is not a ban. They have been asked to put off the channel temporarily for a day,” Parrikar told reporters here in response to a query.”When you show the anti-terror operation live, the handlers of terrorists get the information…. It appears that these guidelines were violated by the channel during the Pathakot attack coverage. It appears like that,” he said.The minister added, “The guidelines on airing the live anti-terrorist operations were issued by the UPA government after the (26/11) 2008 Mumbai attack. In last five years, there were 21 such incidents wherein different channels violated the guidelines.””The Central government’s decision to ban NDTV India is condemnable. The decision tantamounts to controlling the freedom of media. It is quite necessary to have a free and impartial media in a country like India,” Nitish Kumar said in a statement in Patna.At a news conference in Lucknow, Mayawati accused the Modi government of throttling Freedom of Press. “If the Central government continues with such activities, it will lead to a second Emergency and those black days will be etched in the minds of people,” Karunanidhi said, adding the action reminded him of the Emergency days when his articles in party mouthpiece ‘Murasoli’ were ‘banned’ then.Lalu Prasad said the government action is an attack on democracy. “Narendra Modi, BJP and RSS is taking country toward emergency and dictatorship”, Lalu said while addressing Samajwadi Party(SP) celebrations in Lucknow.

Stalin has worked his way up in DMK: Karunanidhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK supremo M Karunanidhi has said his son Stalin has arduously worked his way up to be the second-in command in the party, virtually ruling out any possibility of his estranged Madurai-based son Alagiri becoming the Dravidian party’s head in the future. In an interview to a Tamil weekly, the 92 year-old patriach said Stalin has made sacrifices like going to jail during the Emergency. To a question seeking his response to the “widespread talk and expectations that Stalin is the next DMK President”, Karunanidhi recalled his son had started off at a young age by running the Gopalapuram Youth Club.Later, Stalin was even jailed under the stringent MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) during the Emergency, Karunanidhi pointed out. “From his prison days where he faced a lot of hardships, he has himself worked very hard and elevated himself systematically to the position of future president (of DMK). In that aspect, he remains my political heir apparent today,” Karunanidhi told the Ananda Vikatan magazine. Asked if he viewed the “absence” of Alagiri, dismissed from DMK, as a “loss”, Karunanidhi indicted there was no point talking about those who were not in the party. “One has to be happy with what is there and keep progressing, and feeling about those who are not in the party now will impede the journey,” he said.Succession issue had been a major bone of contention in the DMK’s first family, involving Chennai-based Stalin and his elder brother Alagiri. Alagiri, said to have fancied his chances of leading DMK, had once famously asked if the party was a “mutt” where the senior pontiff could anoint his successor. The firebrand leader, who once held the powerful post of Organisation Secretary (South) in DMK and was even a cabinet Minister in UPA II, however later fell out of favour with his father and was subsequently expelled from the party in March 2014 for alleged anti-party activities. Meanwhile, Stalin today refrained from making any comments on his father’s statement. “I have nothing to say,” he told reporters when asked for his reaction to the interview.

Ramayana museum row: Opposition slams BJP for linking religion with politics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The contentious issue of Ram temple was suddenly back in the political discourse in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh on Monday, a day ahead of Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma’s visit to Ayodhya on Tuesday to inspect the proposed site for setting up a Ramayana museum, a move seen as an attempt to woo pro-Hinduvta elements.BSP supremo Mayawati, a major contender to power in the key battleground state, Congress and the DMK criticised the move, saying it was being made for “electoral benefits”. The land for the proposed museum has been provided by the Uttar Pradesh government.”Developing tourism in Ayodhya is good but, how come the Narendra Modi government thought of developing the Ramayana Sangrahalay (museum) and the state government of Ramleela theme park just before the Assembly polls,” she said in a release in Lucknow.”Linking religion with politics and electoral gains by these governments is condemnable…had they really been so concerned about these issues, they would have thought about them long ago,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said.Congress leader and former Union minister R P N Singh accused the Modi government and BJP of invoking Ram months ahead of the assembly polls due early next year for deriving political mileage out of it. “We shouldn’t be surprised. Every five years we see the same drama unfolding. Whenever polls are in the state, they talk of Ram, Ram temple, Ram sangrahalaya. They repeatedly raise these issues,” he said.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks of development but what about action….When there is election, he goes to Lucknow to participate in Dussehra festivities and chants ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Did he say Jai Shri Ram during Dussehra events last year wherever he went?” he said.The proposed museum revived the demand for construction of Ram temple, with BJP hardliners like Union Minister Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar pitching for it. Katiyar went on to demand tabling of a legislation in the Lok Sabha where the BJP-led NDA has a “massive majority”.”Why only Subramanian Swamy, every devotee of Ram wants the temple to be constructed soon. Until that happens we cannot live in peace. Be it through a bill in Parliament, through dialogue or a court verdict, the government has to find a solution. Of course, we don’t have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, but a bill for construction of the temple can be brought in the Lok Sabha where we have a massive majority. The Ram temple was also a part of BJP’s election manifesto,” he said, adding “no deadline can be set for the government on this issue”.Uma Bharti, another stormy petrel of the Ram temple movement, said, “The issue is what we, the agitators, were claiming as the place where Lord Ram was born was indeed that place or not. A three-judge bench (of Allahabad High Court) agreed with our contention. What is under challenge is the dispute over land between the Waqf Board and Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, not that whether Ram was born there or not,” she said.Mahesh Sharma, however, insisted his visit to Ayodhya had nothing to do with the UP polls, but said he would be visiting the makeshift temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex.”My visit to Ayodhya has nothing to do with UP Assembly elections. I am visiting there as a Tourism Minister. It should not be linked to politics but is part of government’s effort to improve tourism in Ayodhya and all over the country. The visit is part of developmental agenda,” he said. DMK Chief Karunanidhi hits out at BJPDMK chief M Karunanidhi also deprecated attempts to rake up the Ram temple issue ahead of UP assemly polls.”There are reports that BJP is trying to rake up the Ram janmabhoomi issue to garner Hindu votes in Uttar Pradesh,” he said in a statement in Chennai.The DMK patriarch took exception to Prime Minister Modi chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram’ at a Ram Leela event in Lucknow last week. Karunanidhi, who had earlier triggered a row with his critical comments about Lord Ram made at the height of the Ramasethu controversy, also criticised the move to set up a Ramayana museum.Sharma, while insisting that the project had nothing to do with politics, said the museum will be a part of the Ramayana Circuit for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 225 crore, with Rs 151 crore exclusively for Ayodhya, which is the hub of the circuit.”Ram is in the heart of millions of people. As the Tourism Minister, I have to see how Ayodhya can be developed, how Ramayana circuit can be developed from tourism point of view,” the minister said. He said the government has identified three circuits– Ramayana Circuit, Krishna Circuit and Buddhist Circuit– to boost religious tourism.Sharma will also hold a meeting with Ramayana Circuit Advisory Board during the visit. The meeting would discuss routes for connecting Ramayana-related sites in Nepal and Sri Lanka with the proposed museum.Mahesh Sharma likely to hold meetings with religious leadersThe Union Minister would also deliberate on plans for an International Ramayana Conclave, which would be held either in Ayodhya or Chitrakoot district. The conference is likely to be attended by delegates from about 12 countries, sources said. Sharma is likely to hold meetings with religious leaders on building the museum which would portray the epic journey of Lord Rama. He said his Ayodhya visit was planned two months back and had nothing to do with the UP assembly elections, which were “planned five years ago”.When asked if the museum will be inaugurated ahead of the UP polls, Sharma said, “It is a continuous process. It will involve development of ghats, infrastructure etc.”Asked to comment on Katiyar’s demand for bringing a bill in Parliament for construction of the temple, he said,”I am an Indian first. I am going there as a trourism Minister. Ram temple is on (BJP’s) agaida, but (commenting on Katiyar’s demand) is not within my purview as Tourism Minister.”On whether he would visit the makeshift temple during his visit, the Minister said, “Well, the Ramlalla site…there is my spiritual devotion to the place. Millions of devotees visit there for that purpose….I will be going there.”Though the BJP has been insisting that Ram temple will not be an electoral plank in the UP elections to be held early next year, the proposed Ramayana museum and related activities are being seen as an attempt to keep pro-Hindutva elements in good humour. On Dusshera, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in a departure from tradition, participated in the festivities in Lucknow where he started and concluded his speech with chants of “Jai Shri Ram, Jai Jai Shri Ram”.

‘Illiterate’ Karunanidhi desperate to rule Tamil Nadu: AIADMK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The AIADMK on Wednesday alleged that an “illiterate” DMK supremo M Karunanidhi is desperate to rule Tamil Nadu and said the demand for an interim Chief Minister following incumbent Jayalalithaa’s deteriorating health condition exposes the vindictive approach of the self-centered opposition party.”As far as DMK is concerned, DMK headed by Karunanidhi is always vindictive in its approach. It is a self-centered political party, a political party for his own family,” senior AIADMK leader Ponnaiyan said. “Karunanidhi doesn’t know the law. Karunanidhi wants to rule Tamil Nadu or anything he wants to do, above law, without law, by breaking the law, which is his approach. Even if a judge gives a correct statement, if it goes against him, Karunanidhi won’t be hesitant to accuse, to scold and insinuate the judiciary to the maximum extent, unmindful of the consequences. He is illiterate, so he takes law into his hands,” he added.Stating that the arrangements have been made according to Jayalalithaa’s wishes, Poonaiyan further said, “According to the Constitution of India, no acting Chief Minister can be appointed, no in-charge Chief Minister can be appointed. What is being arranged for our Chief Minister is followed subject to the prevailing situation in the state.”
ALSO READ Tamil Nadu: Governor allocates portfolios held by Jayalalithaa to O PaneerselvamAfter Raj Bhavan informed the media that the Chief Minister’s portfolios had been reallocated to Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, Karunanidhi made a strong case for an interim arrangement in Tamil Nadu. Karunanidhi said it was the wish of the people that either the Governor or the Centre should act immediately to explain the position of the government on major issues.”Till the Chief Minister recovers and resumes her duties, an arrangement should be made to fulfill the essential needs of the people of the state,” he said.
ALSO READ Did DMK appoint interim CM when Karunanidhi was ill, asks AIADMKJayalalithaa has been hospitalised in Apollo hospital, Chennai since September 22. Since then, reports released by the hospital have said that she has been on respiratory support but recovering. On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Governor, C Vidyasagar Rao allocated the portfolios dealt by the Chief Minister to Pannerselvam and also said that he will also preside over the Cabinet meetings. This arrangement has been made on the Chief Minister’s advice and will continue until she resumes her duties.

Did DMK appoint interim CM when Karunanidhi was ill, asks AIADMK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIADMK on Wednesday hit out at DMK treasurer MK Stalin for demanding an interim Chief Minister in view of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and asked if such an arrangement was made when Karunanidhi was in hospital in 2009 for a spine surgery.Referring to leaders including MDMK chief Vaiko, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su Thirunavukkarasar, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, and CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan not favouring an idea of an interim Chief Minister, the AIADMK said only Stalin had sought such an arrangement.AIADMK mouthpiece Dr Namadhu MGR on Wednesday asked if the DMK-led government had “appointed an interim Chief Minister when Karunanidhi was hospitalised for a spine surgery in 2009.”Expressing confidence that ‘Amma’ would soon resume her official duties, the AIADMK said under such circumstances the demand for an interim Chief Minister was only a “sadist noise”. On October 9, Stalin had demanded either a “Chief Minister incharge or a new Chief Minister” to streamline governance. After Jayalalithaa’s portfolios were allotted to Finance Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday, he had welcomed it.Meanwhile, prayers continued to be offered at places of worship across Tamil Nadu, including ‘milk pot processions’ for the speedy recovery of Jayalalithaa.

Chennai: MK Stalin visits hospital, talks to doctors about Jaya’s health

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK treasurer and Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly MK Stalin on Saturday visited Apollo Hospital and talked to the doctors there regarding the health condition of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.”We have been told that her condition is improving. Our wishes on behalf of the DMK and our party chief Kalaignar (M Karunanidhi) for a speedy recovery and resumption of her work,” he told reporters after the visit to the hospital.Accompanied by party colleagues, including Deputy Leader of Opposition in Assembly Duraimurugan and former minister K Ponmudi, Stalin also called on Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, state Finance Minister O Panneerselvam and state Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar at the hospital and inquired about the health of the chief minister.Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa continued to be under constant monitoring, Apollo Health Management said. “The respiratory support is being closely watched and adjusted. Lungs decongestion treatment is being continued,” a statement from the hospital said.

Jayalalithaa recovering fast, will be home soon, assures AIADMK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Sunday said that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and party supremo J Jayalalithaa was recovering fast and will come back home very soon.”Chief Minister is doing well, she is recovering very fast. She is healthy and will come home very soon,” AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi told ANI.Responding to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi’s comment on Jayalalithaa health, Saraswathi said that no photo is required to prove the fact that Jayalalithaa was not well and is taking treatment, and added, that the DMK is just trying to make it a political issue.Karunanidhi on Friday urged the Tamil Nadu government to ‘put an end to rumours” regarding the health of Jayalalithaa by providing proper information to the people.Jayalalithaa has been hospitalised in the Chennai Apollo Hospital since September 23 after she complained of fever and dehydration.

Release Jayalalithaa’s image, end rumours, Karunanindhi tells AIADMK

Chennai: On Friday DMK President M Karunanidhi urged the Tamil Nadu government to “put an end to rumours” regarding the health of AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa by providing proper information to the people, while wishing his arch rival a speedy recovery.

“As I had already mentioned, though I differ with her ideologically, it is my desire that she recovers soon and take up official duties as usual,” he said and wished her a speedy recovery.

A file photo of Karunanidhi. PTIA file photo of Karunanidhi. PTI

A file photo of Karunanidhi. PTI

Karunanidhi said although Apollo hospital, where the Chief Minister is recuperating from fever and dehydration, was issuing bulletins about her health, “some unwanted rumours” were deliberately being floated by “some persons.”

“Some persons are spreading unwanted rumours about her health on the social media and to put an end to these, proper information about the Chief Minister’s health must be made available to the people,” he said in a statement.

Karunanidhi suggested that photographs of the Chief Minister be released through the media to quell any kind of rumours being circulated about her health.

Jayalalithaa (68) was admitted to the hospital on 22 September after she complained of fever and dehydration.

She has been advised to stay for a few days at the hospital.

Meanwhile, AIADMK slammed the rumour mongers and said efforts were being made to confuse people and party workers.

“Some persons are trying to create confusion among people and party workers by spreading rumours,” party spokesperson C R Saraswathy said.

She pointed out that Jayalalithaa has been, among others, monitoring the Cauvery situation from the hospital while also announcing festive bonus for state government employees on Wednesday.

Expressing concern over rumours being spread through social media, the spokesperson said such platforms should be used in a constructive way.

Put an end to rumours on Jayalalithaa’s health: Karunanidhi to TN govt

Chennai: On Friday DMK President M Karunanidhi urged the Tamil Nadu government to “put an end to rumours” regarding the health of AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa by providing proper information to the people, while wishing his arch rival a speedy recovery.

“As I had already mentioned, though I differ with her ideologically, it is my desire that she recovers soon and take up official duties as usual,” he said and wished her a speedy recovery.

A file photo of Karunanidhi. PTIA file photo of Karunanidhi. PTI

A file photo of Karunanidhi. PTI

Karunanidhi said although Apollo hospital, where the Chief Minister is recuperating from fever and dehydration, was issuing bulletins about her health, “some unwanted rumours” were deliberately being floated by “some persons.”

“Some persons are spreading unwanted rumours about her health on the social media and to put an end to these, proper information about the Chief Minister’s health must be made available to the people,” he said in a statement.

Karunanidhi suggested that photographs of the Chief Minister be released through the media to quell any kind of rumours being circulated about her health.

Jayalalithaa (68) was admitted to the hospital on 22 September after she complained of fever and dehydration.

She has been advised to stay for a few days at the hospital.

Meanwhile, AIADMK slammed the rumour mongers and said efforts were being made to confuse people and party workers.

“Some persons are trying to create confusion among people and party workers by spreading rumours,” party spokesperson C R Saraswathy said.

She pointed out that Jayalalithaa has been, among others, monitoring the Cauvery situation from the hospital while also announcing festive bonus for state government employees on Wednesday.

Expressing concern over rumours being spread through social media, the spokesperson said such platforms should be used in a constructive way.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa responding well to treatment, to be discharged in few days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who was hospitalised here after complaining of fever and dehydration, will be discharged in a few days, the hospital said on Sunday even as it dismissed as “totally false and baseless” reports of her flying abroad for further medical treatment.”As part of the ongoing recuperation, the Chief Minister has been advised few more days of rest. She will be discharged from the hospital in a few days and will soon resume normal official duties,” Apollo Hospitals Chief Operating Officer Subbiah Viswanathan said. Addressing reporters here, he said necessary investigation and tests were being carried out to prevent recurrence of fever and the 68-year-old AIADMK chief was on a “normal diet”.”The Chief Minister is responding well to the treatment and continues to get better,” he added. He said, meanwhile, “rumours and conjectures” were being circulated falsely in the social media about her health condition stating that she will be taken abroad for treatment. “These are totally false and baseless. There is no question of taking her abroad for treatment. There is no necessity at all for this,” Viswanathan added.The fever was brought under control the very next day she was admitted, he said. She was admitted to the hospital on September 22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, DMK leaders M Karunanidhi and M K Stalin and the chief ministers of Karnataka and Puducherry, Siddaramaiah and V Narayanasamy respectively, were among others who had wished speedy recovery to Jayalalithaa.

Cauvery dispute: AIADMK slams Karunanidhi for seeking special session of TN Assembly

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK on Saturday lashed out at DMK chief M Karunanidhi for seeking a special session of Tamil Nadu Assembly to discuss the Cauvery issue, saying he came up with such demands as he was “irked” over Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s “repeated victories” in the inter-state row and wanted to “conceal his betrayals” in the matter.

By making such demands, Karunanidhi was trying to “conceal his betrayals” in the Cauvery issue, an article in the AIADMK mouthpiece, Namadhu MGR, alleged.

“While the repeated victories ensured by our mother (Jayalalithaa) in the Cauvery issue by approaching the Supreme Court have irritated Karnataka, they have irked Karunanidhi as well,” it claimed.

File photo of Karunanidhi. PTI.File photo of Karunanidhi. PTI.

File photo of Karunanidhi. PTI.

The Jayalalithaa-led Tamil Nadu government had approached the Supreme Court in the Cauvery issue, seeking a direction to the Centre for notifying the 2007 tribunal award in the Central gazette.

It had also moved the apex court early this month, asking it to direct Karnataka to release water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu.

On both the occasions, the court had ruled in Tamil Nadu’s favour.

“That is why, he (Karunanidhi) makes meaningless demands like seeking a special Assembly session or all-party meetings to pretend as if he too is concerned about the Cauvery issue,” the article alleged.

It went on to say that while the recently concluded Assembly session had gone on for over a month, the DMK chief had not attended the proceedings but had just turned up to “sign the register”.

Karunanidhi is an MLA from Thiruvarur.

The article claimed that “intelligent manoeuvres” by Jayalalithaa was leading the state towards a “permanent victory” in the water-sharing row even as it added that the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka was “stunned” following the apex court’s directive, asking it to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Karunanidhi was “unable” to stand the state benefiting in the Cauvery issue due to Jayalalithaa’s decision to seek legal recourse, it alleged.

The DMK chief had urged the Tamil Nadu government to convene a special session of the Assembly like Karnataka.

In a special sitting of its legislature on Friday, Karnataka virtually refused to spare any more Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Supreme Court, adopting a resolution to use water only for drinking purpose.

Tamil Nadu local body polls: DMK confirms alliance with Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After days of being wooed by Congress, which was harping that its alliance with DMK would continue for the local body elections as well, the Karunanidhi led party also confirmed it on Thursday. The DMK asked its district secretaries to hold talks for the coming civic polls with all parties that had been part of its alliance for the May 16 Assembly polls.An announcement in DMK Tamil daily ‘Murasoli’ by party general secretary K Anbazhagan on Thursday directed secretaries to “deliberate with district functionaries of parties who were part of our party-led alliance in the Assembly election.” Such talks were for “deciding the seats where the coalition parties had the opportunity to contest,” he said.DMK fought the May 16 Assembly elections in alliance with Congress, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Indian Union Muslim League, breakaway group of DMDK, “Makkal DMDK,” and other parties. Makkal DMDK later merged with DMK. The announcement assumes significance as this is the first time the DMK has announced that its alliance will continue with Congress, though leaders of the national party had been claiming so.Anbazhagan told the district secretaries to send their inputs and recommendations on seat sharing, based on deliberations, to the party headquarters. The communique comes days after DMK deliberated the local body elections vis-a-vis continuing with allies for local polls as well in its district secretaries’ meeting held on September 18. Though the party was expected to come out with a formal announcement on the question of alliance, it did not happen.DMK had said that the decision would be announced later. Also, a day after the September 18 DMK meet, TNCC chief Thirunavukkarasar had called on Karunanidhi and later asserted that the alliance between Congress and DMK would continue for the local body elections as well.Speaking to reporters today, Thirunavukkarasar said “you (journalists) have been saying that only we (Congress) are claiming that the alliance continues with DMK. Today DMK too has officially confirmed that,” he said, adding seat-sharing talks “begins now” between the two parties.Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) chief G K Vasan too had recently called on DMK chief and party treasurer M K Stalin, apparently to explore possibilities to forge an electoral understanding. Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi chief Easwaran too had called on Stalin over the local body elections. Civic polls are expected to be held next month.

Katchatheevu ceding: Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa liken DMK to Rip Van Winkle

In a blistering attack on DMK in the Assembly, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday accused the M Karunanidhi-led party of doing “nothing” to prevent the ceding of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka, as she vowed to make all legal efforts to retrieve the islet.After DMK member K Ponmudi referred to Jayalalithaa’s 1991 assurance that Katchatheevu would be retrieved and sought to know the “action taken”, a fierce debate ensued involving him, her and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Claiming that DMK does not have any locus standi to speak on the issue, she said Katchatheevu, an islet in the Palk Straits, was ceded to Sri Lanka through agreements, in 1974 and 1976, with the neighbouring nation by the Centre while DMK president M Karunanidhi was the state’s chief minister.”What was he (Karunanidhi) doing then? Did he take any steps to prevent it or did he hold agitations?,” Jayalalithaa asked, as she maintained that there was no change in her stance that Katchatheevu should be retrieved.”Yes I spoke of it (in 1991), conscious of the powers of a state government. I had said that I will take steps through the central government and had not said anything insane. I had not said that I would lead a battalion to retrieve Katchatheevu,” Jayalalithaa said.Stating that she had consistently been making all efforts that could be made by a state government, Jayalalithaa asked why DMK had not taken any steps on the issue though it was part of various regimes at the Centre.Recalling that when DMK was in power both at the Centre as well as the state and when Karunanidhi had even stated that the previous Manmohan Singh government was “steered” by his advice, she wondered why no action was taken to retrieve Katchatheevu, which is at the centre of the dispute over fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Strait.Jayalalithaa said why the DMK member was asking her on “what action was taken on Katchatheevu,” when it had not done anything over it. She likened the arch rival party to ‘Rip Van Winkle’, an easygoing character from a an English short story who goes on a slumber for 20 years, for “sleeping” over the issue and raising it now in the House. She recalled how as the Leader of Opposition she had petitioned Supreme Court against ceding of Katchatheevu in 2008 and wanted to know why the then DMK government did not implead itself in the case, adding “is this the way to retrieve Katchatheevu?”When the apex court wanted the state government to file its counter-affidavit in 2008, Karunanidhi, as chief minister, had said it would be considered after “seeing the stand of the Centre in court.””After my party was voted to power in 2011, I took efforts to get Tamil Nadu government’s Revenue Department impleaded in the case,” she said.”For sure, I will succeed in the petition, some day I will succeed in that petition (Katchatheevu), till then you all should do well and see it, it is my prayer to the Almighty,” she said.Jayalalithaa said she took legal action on Katchatheevu ceding after making all other efforts, including persuading the Centre on the issue. Her legal action was based on the Berubari case in which the Supreme Court had held that a Constitutional amendment was needed to cede territories.The debate on Katchatheevu stretched for about an hour and witnessed noisy scenes involving DMK and AIADMK members over the issue.”You cannot drown the truth by shouting, it is the DMK, and its chief Karunanidhi, who were responsible for ceding Katchatheevu. It is the DMK which is responsible for the travails of the fishermen,” she said emphatically amidst noisy scenes and sought to know again why Karunanidhi was silent when the islet was given away.When Ponmudi said the opposition and the government should work together on Katchatheevu, she asked, “In what respect should we work together? We have already taken action. You witness it without posing obstacles.”Defending DMK, Stalin said Karunanidhi had written to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi against ceding Katchatheevu. He referred to an all-party meeting and agitations over the issue in 1974. He said the assembly, too, had then expressed its “deep regret” over the issue and urged the Centre to reconsider its decision.Jayalalithaa said ‘agitations, letters to PM and all-party meetings’ could go (work) only to some extent and she too did that and when there was no result, she moved the Supreme Court. She said Karunanidhi had claimed in a meeting of Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) in 2013 that before a pact was inked with Sri Lanka to cede Katchatheevu, it was due to his efforts that clauses related to rights for fishermen to fish and dry nets in Katchatheevu were incorporated.However, in 1974, Karunanidhi had expressed shock and claimed that he came to know of the ceding of the islet only through newspapers. “The Leader of the Opposition should clarify which (of the claims) is right,” Jayalalithaa said.She also accused the DMK chief of remaining “non-committal” over taking legal steps, when it was pointed out to him that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as the Leader of the then Jan Sangh, had said that he would move court over the issue.

Stalin denies claims of difference with father Karunanidhi, ‘snatching away’ opposition leader’s post

DMK treasurer and Opposition Leader in Tamil Nadu assembly MK Stalin rejected reports of differences with his father and party chief M Karunanidhi, as he charged arch rival AIADMK with trying to create confusion among DMK workers.Stalin also described as “indecent allegation”, Finance Minister O Panneerselvam’s claim that DMK’s demand for proper facilities for wheelchair-bound Karunanidhi to attend Assembly proceedings was due to problems between him and Karunandhi. “Panneerselvam has embarked on creating confusion in the party and the family by claiming that there are differences between the father and the son. This does not behold his Minister’s post,” Stalin said in a statement here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He, without elaborating, said Panneerselvam was not known to make such statements “but has been forced to do so”. “The contention by Panneerselvam and reports in some dailies supporting them (AIADMK) that there are differences between the father (Karunanidhi) and the son (Stalin) are completely false. The efforts by AIADMK to create confusion in DMK will not succeed,” he said.
ALSO READ DMK’s MK Stalin elected as opposition leader in Tamil Nadu state assemblyPanneerselvam should not resort to making such “baseless” allegations, he said. “There cannot be a worse allegation than that I snatched away the Opposition Leader’s post from Kalaignar (Karunanidhi). In fact, when DMK was in power, he allowed me to reply on the debate on Governor’s address,” Stalin said recalling his father’s Chief Ministerial tenure.On Panneerselvam’s claim that a letter from Stalin to Speaker P Dhanapal on the seating arrangement for DMK MLAs did not mention Karunanidhi’s name, the Opposition Leader said his party whip R Sakkarapani had seperately taken up the DMK chief’s case through a letter. Stalin said he himself had drawn Karunanidhi’s attention to that particular letter and that he had approved it.
ALSO READ No intent to show disrespect: Jaya clarifies to Stalin about seating gaffe He also chided Panneerselvam for Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa not taking him along during her Delhi visit earlier this week. She had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and presented a dossier of demands for funds for projects in various sectors.On Friday, Panneerselvam had alleged that DMK’s row over seating arrangement for Karunanidhi in the Assembly was a fallout of differences between him and Stalin. He had also alleged that Stalin had “snatched away” the Opposition Leader’s post from Karunanidhi, who was the top DMK leader.

Previous govt failed to take Puducherry on growth path: Narayanasamy

Puducherry Chief Minister designate V Narayanasamy on Saturday charged the previous government in the Union Territory with not doing anything for its progress and said his government would make all efforts for the welfare of the people.Speaking to reporters at Chennai after calling on DMK leader M K Stalin, he said when he was Minister of State, he had brought various developmental activities to the UT like good educational institutes, built 17 bridges, got funds (from the Centre) for implementing various schemes, including drinking water projects.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But for the last two years after BJP came to power at the Centre, the Union territory had not received any funds, he said.Narayanasamy alleged that the previous government had not made any effort for the growth of Puducherry. The people were looking for growth, particularly in sectors like construction and industry. “The Congress-DMK alliance will work for all-round growth of Puducherry,” he said.The Congress leader said he has invited Stalin, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and DMK Leader Ponmudi for the swearing-in ceremony of the new government on June 6.”Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik will also be there in the function,” he said.Asked if his cabinet would have members from DMK, the alliance partner in the Union territory for the May 16 assembly polls, he said it would be decided by Congress leadership and DMK Chief M Karunanidhi.

M Karunanidhi turns 93, pays tribute to DMK founder CN Annadurai

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M. Karunanidhi on Thursday celebrated his 93rd birthday by paying a floral tribute to party founder C.N. Annadurai at Anna memorial here.The nonagenarian leader will meet party cadres and political leaders in DMK head office here and is also scheduled to address a public meeting.Though the DMK lost in the recent assembly polls, the party has emerged as the strongest ever opposition in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karunanidhi himself won with a record highest margin with more than 68,000 votes and got elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly for the 13th consecutive time.While the DMK-led alliance together won 98 seats, the Karunanidhi-led party had got 89 seats, followed by eight seats of ally Congress and one.

Include Dalit Christians, fishermen in SC/ST: Karunanidhi to Modi

DMK President M Karunanidhi on Sunday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include Dalit Christians and fishermen community in Scheduled Tribes list. Thanking Modi for the recent Cabinet’s decision to include Narikuravars in the list of Scheduled Tribes, he said it was a demand made by DMK for a very long time and expressed satisfaction that it had been fulfilled. On his demand for including Dalit Christians in the SC/ST category, Karunanidhi said, “when SC/STs convert themselves to Christianity, they are deprived of all the privileges and concessions hitherto enjoyed by them. “DMK has been demanding that the SC/STs after conversion to Christianity should be treated as SC/STs and allowed all concessions and privileges,” he said, adding there were precedents such as recognition of Sikh Christians and Buddhist Christians.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also said the fishermen community should be included in the ST category as marine tribes. “The fishermen community, by their very geographical nature, is socially and educationally akin to the Scheduled Tribes.” Their inclusion in ST list, which they “deserve in all respects”, would enable them to climb up the ladder of life, Karunanidhi said. Karunanidhi requested Modi to “consider the two demands and sought an early action by the government.” Last week, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for inclusion of three communities, including Narikuravar, from the state under the Scheduled Tribes category.

Karunanidhi asks Modi to include Dalit Christians, fishermen in SC/ST list

Chennai: DMK President M Karunanidhi on Sunday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include Dalit Christians and the fishermen community in Scheduled Tribes (ST) list.

Thanking Modi for the cabinet’s recent decision to include the Narikuravars in the list of Scheduled Tribes, he said it was a demand made by DMK for a very long time and expressed satisfaction that it had been fulfilled.

M Karunanidhi. ReutersM Karunanidhi. Reuters

M Karunanidhi. Reuters

On his demand for including Dalit Christians in the SC/ST category, Karunanidhi said, “when SC/STs convert themselves to Christianity, they are deprived of all the privileges and concessions hitherto enjoyed by them. DMK has been demanding that the SC/STs after conversion to Christianity should be treated as SC/STs and allowed all concessions and privileges,” he said, adding there were precedents such as recognition of Sikh Christians and Buddhist Christians.

He also said the fishermen community should be included in the ST category as marine tribes. “The fishermen community, by their very geographical nature, is socially and educationally akin to the Scheduled Tribes.”

Their inclusion in ST list, which they “deserve in all respects”, would enable them to climb up the ladder of life, Karunanidhi said.

Karunanidhi requested Modi to “consider the two demands and sought an early action by the government.”

Last week, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for inclusion of three communities, including Narikuravar, from the state under the Scheduled Tribes category.

No intent to show disrespect: Jaya clarifies to Stalin about seating gaffe

After Karunanidhi slammed CM J Jayalalithaa for making his son and DMK Treasurer MK Stalin sit in the back row during the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, the AIADMK supremo has now replied by thanking Stalin for attending the event. A statement released from the party read, “I understand that MK Stalin was seated in the block of seats intended for Members of the Legislative Assembly. I am informed that the Public Department had followed the Protocol Manual in allocating seats in the hall for the event. If this seating plan caused him any discomfiture, I would like to assure him that there was no intent to show disrespect to him or his Party. Had the officers brought to my notice that MK Stalin would be attending the event, I would have instructed the officers in charge of the arrangements to provide him a seat in the first row, relaxing the norms in the Protocol Manual. I convey my good wishes to him and look forward to working with his Party for the betterment of the State.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, M Karunanidhi had criticised the AIADMK supremo for making Stalin sit in the back while AISMK’s Sarathkumar, who lost in his constituency, was made to sit in the first row. The DMK leader stated that it clearly shows Jayalalithaa’s vengeful attitude and that she would never change. Stalin attended the ceremony and was greeted by leaders, but he was offered a seat in the 10th row amidst the crowd. Stalin also received huge praise on social media when he was spotted in the swearing-in ceremony of his arch rival AIADMK J Jayalalithaa on Monday.

Karunanidhi congratulates P Vijayan, Mamata Banerjee, Sarbananda Sonowal

DMK president Karunanidhi on Sunday greeted Pinarayi Vijayan, Mamata Banerjee and Sarbananda Sonowal who will be taking over the reins of new governments in Kerala, West Bengal and Assam respectively.In separate messages to each of the leaders, he said, “Please accept my hearty congratulations to you on your assuming office as Chief Minister.””Very earnestly, I wish you a comfortable and happy tenure as Chief Minister,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am quite sure that you will take all necessary steps for further economic growth and prosperity of the naturally-endowed state,” he wrote to Vijayan.In his message to Banerjee, he referred to her big poll win.”The tremendous faith and confidence the great people of West Bengal have reposed in you have paved the smooth way for you to return to the office of the Chief Minister,” he said.”I am sure you will continue the good work with all enthusiasm and speed for the growth of the state,” he said.Greeting Sonowal, he said, “I am quite sure that you will work for the protection of the people of Assam, irrespective of their religion, as you have publicly promised to the people.”

State voted for DMK, but AIADMK spent crores to grab power: Dayanidhi Maran

Asserting that there has never been a close call in the history of Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Dayanidhi Maran on Thursday alleged that the ruling AIADMK spent crores of money to emerge victorious in the assembly polls. Maran, who is the grandnephew DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, said the exit polls did predict a victory for his party. “Since all the exit polls predicted that the DMK is going to win, this forced the ruling government to spend more money. In fact, you have seen that 570 crores were caught and without any documents. I have never heard that a bank transfers 570 crores tree trucks without any security personnel and without any proper documents,” he added. The DMK leader further said it is a failure on part of the Election Commission to stop or prevent the distribution of money.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Never has in the history of Tamil Nadu there has been a close call. It was always a clear mandate. The people’s mandate is for DMK but because the dirty money played the game the DMK was not able to serve the people,” he added. Meanwhile, AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, who became the first person after legendary M.G. Ramachandran, better known as MGR, to be elected to two continuous terms, thanked the people of Tamil Nadu for reposing their faith in her and said that she is indebted to them forever. Defying the exit poll prediction, the AIADMK has won 23 seats and is leading in 109. The DMK has won 20 seats and is leading in 69.

Tamil Nadu polls 2016: Jayalalithaa leads AIADMK to assembly poll victory in state

Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK juggernaut rolled on on Thursday getting a simple majority with the Chief Minister bucking the anti-incumbency trend and retaining power in Tamil Nadu for a second consecutive term, the first time by anyone in the last three decades in the state. The AIADMK bagged 13 seats and was leading in four as counting of votes was taken up for 232 of the 234 Assembly constituencies. Polling in two constituences has been postponed to May 23. The 68-year old Jayalalithaa thus continued her winning streak with her party bagging 39 seats of the 40 at stake in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, DMK and its allies including Congress gave a tough fight and emerged a strong opposition winning 95 seats and leading in two. The DMK bagged 87 and was leading in six while Congress got 8. This marked a significant gain from its 2011 performance when DMK had returned only 23 MLAs. Jayalalithaa, who retained her RK Nagar seat in Chennai by a good margin, will assume office for the sixth time, belying majority of exit polls that gave the DMK the edge in this multi-cornered contest. DMDK-PWF-TMC combine, BJP and its smaller allies, PMK and Naam Tamizhar Katchi, which vied for honours with high-profile campaign, drew a blank as the battle proved to be confined between Dravidian arch rivals AIADMK and DMK. DMK supremo M Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) and his son M K Stalin (Kolathur) won their seats comfortably. However, the biggest losers seemed to be the DMDK-PWF-TMC alliance, led by actor-turned politician Vijayakant, and the BJP-led coalition of smaller parties, as both failed to make any gain despite projecting themselves as the third alternative. DMDK-PWF-TMC alliance’s Chief Ministerial candidate Vijaykant came a tame third in Ulundurpet while his PMK counterpart Anbumani Ramadoss was the runner-up in Pennagaram segment, which fell under his Dharmapuri Lok Sabha constituency. An elated Jayalalithaa vowed to serve people with a newfound energy, saying that she will strive to fulfill all of the promises made in the AIADMK poll manifesto, such as free mobile phones and free 100 units of power to all. “I am overwhelmed by the resounding victory the people of Tamil Nadu have given us. My party and I are indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu for giving this historic victory,” a beaming Jayalalithaa said.She also said the outcome has put “permanent end to the family politics” of DMK. However, AIADMK faced some embarrassment when four of its senior ministers lost.

Tamil Nadu: Tracing Jayalalithaa’s journey from starlet to chief minister

Chennai: Fighting heavy odds, J Jayalalithaa proved her detractors wrong again with her grit and determination as she steered AIADMK to power for a second consecutive term, bucking the tradition since 1989 when no party has retained power in Tamil Nadu.

The 68-year-old AIADMK supremo, known as ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’ (Revolutionary Leader), has cemented her image as a fighter despite challenges that haunted her in the form of corruption cases forcing her to quit twice, only to make a comeback.

Though she had MG Ramachandran (MGR) as her mentor, she struggled in her initial days in the party and went on to became its general secretary, a post she has held since 1989.

She vowed in 1989 not to return to Assembly unless she is the chief minister and is now preparing to be sworn-in for the sixth time.



The Opposition’s attempt to target her as being “inaccessible” and “authoritarian” have failed to dent the image of Jayalalithaa who started a multitude of welfare schemes like the Amma canteen- a low cost food chain, Amma water and Amma pharmacies.

Her present regime is also noted for freebies like twenty kilograms of free rice for ration card holders, free mixers, grinders, milch cows, goats and “Thalikku Thangam”, four grams of gold for Mangalsutra which she has promised to increase to eight grams if she is voted back to power.
She also promised free mobile phones for all ration card holders this time.

However, her handling of flood situation came in for criticism with DMK alleging that “Jayalalithaa did not even meet the flood victims and console them” and raking up issues like alleged “insistence of AIADMK partymen to paste her sticker in relief materials.”

But Jayalalithaa, who returned as chief minister a year ago after acquittal in disproportionate assets case, emerged unscathed again with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which had won 37 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014, continuing to hold sway in the Assembly election.

Her victory is extraordinary given the political history of Tamil Nadu that bets often on the “Dravidian” theory, and regales in anti-Brahmin rhetoric.

Known for her bold decision making, she famously remarked after assuming office as chief minister for the second time that “I am a ringmaster” making things work by motivating government officials.

A teen starlet who made her cinema debut in CV Sridhar-directed ‘Vennira Aadai’ (white dress) in 1956, Jayalalithaa became a popular actress and did 30 films alone with matinee idol MGR who later became her political mentor and in 1982 inducted her into AIADMK which he founded.

She worked her way up in the party though factional leaders targeted her. She was appointed propaganda secretary in 1983.

In the mid 1980s, then Hindu Religious Endowments Minister RM Veerappan and Agriculture Minister K Kalimuthu were at the forefront of opposing her within the party and they did not take it lightly when she was reappointed propaganda secretary by MGR.

Kalimuthu even infamously alleged once that Jayalalithaa was conspiring to end ‘Dravidian rule’ in Tamil Nadu.

MGR later got her elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1984 and she managed to win the support of many party functionaries.

She went on to lead a faction that stood by her after the AIADMK split following MGR’s death in 1987. The other faction was led by VN Janaki, wife of MGR.

She successfully contested the Tamil Nadu Assembly election in 1989 from Bodinayakkanur and became the first woman leader of opposition in the House and under her leadership the AIADMK group won 27 seats with Janaki group managing to win only two.

When the party later united in 1989 she became the general secretary of the unified AIADMK, the top party post which she continues to hold to this day and is known for her deft handling of party affairs.

As Leader of the Opposition, she decided not to go the House following the infamous episode in the House on 25 March, 1989 when her saree was pulled and DMK president and then chief minister Karunanidhi’s spectacle was broken in a clash between the AIADMK and DMK members.

Jayalalithaa vowed to return to the Tamil Nadu Assembly only as the chief minister in 1989 though many were convinced that she could achieve it.

She went on to become chief minister not for once but for five times (1991-96, May-Sept 2001, 2002-06, 2011-14, 2015-16).

In 1991, she stitched up an alliance with Congress and a sympathy wave spurred by the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi landed her party a landslide victory, with Jayalalithaa making her debut as chief minister. She was elected from Bargur constituency.

Ironically, her first tenure (1991-96) continues to haunt her even today as it was marked by several corruption allegations like the TANSI case and even the disproportionate assets case pending now in the Supreme Court has its origins to this period.

There were allegations that her aide Sasikala’s family was calling the shots in all aspects of government and the extravagant wedding of her later disowned foster son VN Sudhakaran in 1995 became a sort of an indelible imprint against her on the alleged failure and insensitivity of her first regime.

Riding on anti-incumbency, she, however, came back to power in 2001 with her party winning 132 seats. But her appointment as CM was quashed by the Supreme Court vis-a-vis the TANSI case and she was unseated though she eventually made a comeback as CM in 2002 after getting elected from Andipatti.

Though her party lost polls in 2006, AIADMK emerged victorious in 61 seats that year and became a powerful opposition party.


DMK had won 96 seats and with the support of allies like Congress (which had won 34 seats) the Karunanidhi-led party managed to sail through. Often she taunted the DMK regime as a “minority government” throughout its five year tenure (2006-11).

In 2011 Assembly election, issues like the 2G Spectrum Scam, and the 2009 killings of Tamils in the Sri Lankan civil war helped her to trounce the DMK and make a dramatic comeback to power.

During 2011-16, she was careful to implement a multitude of welfare schemes and big ticket projects like the drinking water schemes for Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Vellore Districts.

Jayalalithaa did her studies at the Bishop Cotton Girls’ High School in Bangalore and later at the Presentation Convent Church Park in Chennai.

Though she got a scholarship from the Central government for higher studies after completing her matriculation in 1964, she opted for a career in the film world.

She went on to act in South Indian language movies including Tamil. She is well-versed in several Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi besides English.

Tamil Nadu elections 2016: Is Amma on her way out? Exit polls predict so

After a month-long hectic campaign, Tamil Nadu voted today, barring Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies which will go to polls on May 23. All the exit polls for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2016 project a win for the DMK-Congress alliance, barring CVoter. Today’s Chanakya, Axis My India show that Jayalalithaa has failed to re-create her magic this time. However, AIADMK and DMK were in close contention during the campaigning days. Both made similar poll promises. Prohibition of liquor featured prominently in both their manifestos. Several freebies were also promised for the voters, which even invited Election Commission’s ire. (Read: Tamil Nadu elections 2016: EC issues show cause notices to Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi)<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP was seeking to make inroads in Tamil Nadu but failed to create a mark, according to the exit poll predictions. The fight has always been between DMK and AIADMK, and looks like it will continue to stay so. The only glimmer of hope Congress has in this round of assembly elections is in Tamil Nadu, where the alliance with 92-year-old wheelchair-bound Karunanidhi led DMK seems to have worked. AGENCY AIADMK DMK-CONGRESS OTHERS TODAY’S CHANAKYA 90 (+/- 9) 140 (+/- 11) 4 (+/- 2) CVOTER 139 78 17 AXIS MY INDIA 89-101 124-140 4-8 NEWS NATION 95-99 114-118 18 REASONS FOR AMMA’S PROJECTED LOSSDid the Chennai floods and criticism over its handling by the state administration have an impact on Jaya’s dedicated voters?​Amma, who went to jail in connection to the disproportionate assests case, but returned to power in May 2015 after acquittal, has failed to convince the voters in the last one year. People, who struggled in the week-long floods, seem to have not forgiven Amma for what she did (or for what she didn’t do.)Another reason for Amma lagging behind in the race this time could be her lack of campaigning. Karunanidhi’s son MK Stalin, started the party’s ‘Nammakku Naame’ (We for ourselves) as long ago as September 2015. The party reached out to all the 234 constituencies, and ended the campaign in February 2016. However, due to Amma’s reported ill-health, she wasn’t able to make many public appearances. The exit polls also suggest that DMDK, PMK etc may have failed to create an impression among voters about being a credible alternative to the DMK and AIADMK. Also read: Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Why DMK holds the edge over AIADMKAXIS MY INDIA PROJECTIONS:DMK, in alliance with Congress, will get anywhere between 124-140 seats, while AIADMK will see between 89 and 101. BJP however, fails to make a mark and only 0-3 seats are predicted for the PM Modi-led party. TODAY’S CHANAKYA PROJECTIONS:DMK-Congress alliance gets anywhere close 140 seats; Amma gets 90. C-VOTER PROJECTIONS:CVoter is the only pollster to have suggested that the Amma-led party is leading the race with 139 seats. DMK-Congress alliance will get 78 seats, predicted CVoter.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Rajinikanth urges people to vote, evades query on money row

South Indian superstar Rajinikanth on Monday urged people to vote, saying it is the duty of all citizens to exercise their franchise.He, however, declined to comment on allegations of distribution of money by candidates in Tamil Nadu.”Everybody should vote and that is our duty,” he told reporters after voting at Stella Maris College premises.Asked about allegations of distribution of money and postponement of elections, he merely said, “No comments”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Live Updates: Amid rains, over 25 % voting in Tamil Nadu; M Karunanidhi says ‘our winning prospects are bright’EC has postponed polls in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur seats following allegations of distribution of money.Another veteran actor Kamal Haasan said, “Higher the polling percentage, it is good for democracy and my feeling too is that it should be higher.”Asked who should come to power, he said “good people”.He voted at a polling station in Teynampet along with actress Gowthami.Actor Ajith Kumar, hailed as “Thala” (leader), cast his vote along with wife Shalini.LIVE | Kerala Elections 2016: 30% polling till 11am, Modi’s Somalia comment to prove costly, says ChandyActor turned politician Kushboo and her actor-director husband Sundar C also cast their votes.Comedian Vivek, actors Prabhu, Sivakarthikevyan, Jeeva, Meena, lyricist Vairamuthu too exercised their franchise.Actor-turned politician and chief of Nam Tamizhar Katchi, Seeman, said those who distributed money were “sinners,” and asked all the people to exercise their franchise.

Tamil Nadu elections 2016: EC postpones voting in Aravakurichi constituency from May 16 to May 23

The Election Commission on Saturday directed the polls in Aravakurichi constituency of Tamil Nadu to be conducted on May 23, 2016 instead of May 16, 2016. The counting in the constituency will be held on May 25 instead of May 19. Using its power under Article 324 of the Constitution, the Election Commission, in an order said that election in the constituency will now be held on May 23 instead of May 16.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The order signed by Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi and fellow Commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat said FIRs have been lodged and Income Tax raids carried out at the residences and other premises of various political leaders show that unaccounted money and gift items have been distributed to voters to vitiate the electoral process.”…the irresistible conclusion is that all the above seized monies and gift items were meant for distribution to electors as illegal inducement to them. The Commission is satisfied that the current electoral process in Aravakurichi assembly constituency has been seriously vitiated on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers in bribing the electors,” the EC said in its order.
ALSO READ Tamil Nadu elections 2016: EC issues show cause notices to Jayalalithaa, KarunanidhiEarlier this week, during a raid conducted in the constituency, the Income Tax authorities recovered Rs 2 crore cash from the residence and other premises of Aravakurichi DMK candidate KC Palanichamy and his son KCP Shivaraman at Karur. (With PTI inputs)

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: This ‘grandmom’ stars in campaign videos for both DMK and AIADMK!

67-year old GT Kasturi has now become a celebrity in Tamil Nadu. So what is her claim to fame? Well, she features in promotional ads for two different political parties – the DMK and the AIADMK!In the ad for the AIADMK, Kasturi paati (grandmother) is seen sitting in a temple, welling up and saying that when her children didn’t feed her, it was the government that did. On the other hand, in the ad for the DMK, she is seen saying that leaders need to know the ground reality of the people and those who did not know their suffering, should not be voted to power.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Hindu reports that Kasturi paati now has memes, videos and articles dedicated to her, stating how she is the ‘favourite model’ for the DMK and the AIADMK. The daily quoted her as saying that an agent approached her to act in the promo for the AIADMK. “At that time, I didn’t know it was an election promo, but thought it was for a short film. A few days later, another agent approached me asking me to say a dialogue for an advertisement and I didn’t know it was for the DMK’s election promo,” she tells the daily. It’s reported that she was paid Rs 1,500 for the AIADMK promo and Rs 1000 for the DMK promo.Kasturi paati says she used to do plays on All India Radio and has acted in over 300 films in the last 25 years in small roles. Mayakkam Enna, Sagaptham and Madras are some films you would have seen her in.She has told the daily that she has no political preferences or affiliation but she admires Karunanidhi’s determination to contest and win, and Jayalalithaa for her welfare schemes. Kasturi paati adds that she is not wealthy, but just manages to get by with these small acting assignments and her pension. Watch Kasturi paati in the AIADMK promo:

Tamil Nadu elections 2016: DMK did little for the state’s welfare, says Jayalalithaa

Launching a blistering attack against DMK and its President M Karunanidhi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday charged the party with having done little for the state’s welfare during its rule and said every vote for DMK-Congress alliance was a vote against people’s prosperity.Addressing an election rally here, Jayalalithaa charged DMK with non-performance in many areas, including the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, inter-state river disputes and power generation and alleged that the party was involved in corruption in 2G, Aircel-Maxis deal and the telephone exchange case. She charged DMK with inaction over the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka during the ethnic conflict. “AIADMK sought probe against those involved.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”DMK colluded with Congress in ceding the Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka whereas we are struggling hard to retrieve it,” she claimed.She charged Karunanidhi-led governments in the past with failing to protect the interests of Tamil Nadu in key water disputes including Cauvery with neighbouring Karnataka and claimed that it was her government which ensured that the final award of 2007 was published in Central gazette, after approaching the Supreme Court.”DMK pushed Tamil Nadu into darkness, we have brightened it,” she said in an apparent reference to the power sector and added that while her archrival was supportive of FDI in retail, her government had resisted it. “With the Coal-bed methane project, DMK tried to convert the Cauvery delta region into a desert,” but AIADMK ensured that it did not see the light of the day, she said.She levelled a series of charges against DMK, including industries being closed down during the previous regime and economy taking a hit, and said the AIADMK government brought new investments and put the state back on track. The AIADMK supremo alleged that Karunanidhi never had public welfare in mind and whatever schemes his government enacted were done with ulterior motives to benefit him and his family.”Overall the DMK and Congress had aligned (earlier) to push you into tears. But AIADMK uplifted the poor and wiped off their tears. So vote for AIADMK in the coming elections and that win will be your win. Vote for AIADMK to defeat people’s enemies,” she said.Alleging that DMK planned to cancel popular AIADMK schemes like Annadanam in temples and shut down Amma Canteens, Jayalalithaa said: “Every vote for DMK-Congress alliance is against your own welfare.” She said DMK had not promised any pro-poor measures in its election manifesto while her party has assured a slew of them to ensure public welfare.Jayalalithaa, recalling her earlier government doing away with entrance test for medical courses in 2005 by way of a legalisation, promised that admission to MBBS and BDS will be done without entrance test if her party was given the popular mandate once again.”If required, we will enact a legislation for this purpose,” she said.She criticised Karunanidhi for not doing anything for the withdrawal of the 2010 IMA notification making entrance test mandatory for medical courses, or at least seek exemption for Tamil Nadu. She recalled that the UPA government was in power at the Centre and DMK, its constituent, was the ruling party in Tamil Nadu.Hitting out at Karunanidhi for his remarks that the AIADMK manifesto was aimed at “fooling” people, Jayalalithaa said all the promises, including freebies, were aimed at the overall welfare of people and uplift of the poor and downtrodden.In fact, the DMK manifesto had no such pro-poor promises, she said, adding Karunanidhi, despite being a five-time Chief Minister, had failed to implement schemes like free milch animals.Jayalalithaa, addressed as ‘Amma’ (mother) by supporters, said that as a “mother”, she was aware of what to give to the people of the state and said that while she had implemented all promises made in the 2011 poll manifesto, she had even come out with schemes not mentioned then.Price-mitigation schemes and others like Amma Water, Amma Salt and Amma Cement were some of these, she said, adding, such a kind of “spring” will continue if the voters elected her party candidates in the hustings.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: DMDK, BJP won’t divide anti-incumbency votes, says Karunanidhi

DMK President M Karunanidhi on Thursday exuded confidence that alliances led by DMDK and BJP would not impact his party’s prospects in the May 16 assembly polls, and claimed that they may eat into the vote share of ruling AIADMK.’Anti-incumbency votes will not be split’Having won 12 successive elections since 1957 and facing the 13th as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate, the 93 year-old DMK patriarch said this election has painted a different picture due to the sheer size of the contestants, with some of them even naming Chief Ministerial candidates. In an interview to PTI, the veteran Dravidian leader said that the parties projecting themselves as alternatives to both DMK and AIADMK will not be able to split anti-incumbency votes and claimed they could affect the ruling party’s prospect.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Such a scenario will boost DMK’s chances in the elections, he said. “They will not be able to split anti-incumbency votes. They may cut into the AIADMK s vote bank,” he said in response to a question on serious efforts among parties to emerge as an alternative to DMK and AIADMK and whether that would split anti-incumbency votes and affect DMK’s prospects. Karunanidhi said that people of Tamil Nadu were in a mood to send the ruling party packing and give DMK a chance.’People want change'”The single most dominant issue in the minds of the people is change of Government- AIADMK Government should go DMK should take over the Government,” he said when asked what was the dominant issue he perceived in the electoral battle. Having made his electoral debut from Kulithalai in 1957, Karunanidhi said that each poll was different from the other.”The difference depends upon the fighting parties and their leaders. The present election presents totally a different picture in view of the fact that too many parties are in the fray and some of them have named their Chief Ministerial Candidates,” he said. The social media also played a “considerable role now”, the DMK chief, whose party is reaching to voters through all forms of media, said.’BJP will fail in Dravidian hearland’To a question on BJP’s efforts to gain ground in Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi said that the saffron party will “fail” to do so in “this Dravidian heartland”. The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) of actor Vijaykanth is in alliance with People’s Welfare Front (PWF) and Tamil Maanila Congress. The PWF comprises Vaiko’s MDMK, CPI(M), CPI and VCK.BJP is fighting the election in alliance with some small outfits in the state. Asked about the financial implications of implementing certain promises in the DMK poll manifesto, Karunanidhi said: “We never say what is not possible or feasible. Please wait and see.”On the issue of changing candidates after releasing the list, much like the AIADMK, Karunanidhi claimed that such changes were made in concurrence with the persons involved. “DMK has changed party nominees only in few constituencies where it was felt absolutely necessary. Even this was done after discussions with the nominees already announced. It was a very smooth change-over. It will, in no way, affect the prospects of our party in the elections.”On AIADMK’s promise of implementing prohibition, an issue that has taken centre stage in the polls, he said: “Tamil Nadu voters know very well that (chief Minister J) Jayalalithaa is not sincere in her announcements” and added that her assurance will “not affect DMK,” which has also made a similar promise.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Alagiri says DMK will not win a single seat in Madurai

DMK leader Stalin was in Madurai to address a rally on May 7, but his elder brother MK Alagiri was not seen anywhere close. The party’s chief M Karunanidhi has stated that Stalin will be chief minister if the party wins and has also declared that if something happens to him, it will be Stalin who takes over the leadership. A report in The Indian Express states that MK Alagiri will not be voting for any party in the upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu. Alagiri told the daily that it has been two-and-half years since he spoke to his brother Stalin and nearly three years since he spoke to his half-sister Kanimozhi. He added that DMK will not win a single seat in Madurai and that he was not interested in the kind of politics that is going on now. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the election of 2011, it was MK Alagiri who was spearheading the campaign in Madurai for the DMK. But he was under the scanner for numerous issues at the time and was held responsible for the ‘self-styled’ rule in the city and the rise of mafia leaders like ‘Pottu’ Suresh, ‘Attack’ Pandi and ‘Karate’ Pandian.
ALSO READ Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: MK Alagiri loyalists send out warning to DMKMK Alagiri is now a shadow of his former self where politics is concerned. A close aide told the daily that they could not be seen openly supporting Alagiri due to the issues in the family. The report adds that Alagiri is definitely planning something as his loyalists have told the daily that they plan to defeat the candidates close to Stalin in Madurai.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Rahul Gandhi to hold joint rally with DMK leader Stalin

Ahead of Tamil Nadu assembly elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will hold a public rally on Saturday to campaign for candidates of the DMK-Congress alliance.Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Stalin will also accompany Gandhi in the rally. Tight security arrangements have been made and the entire area is expected to come under a security blanket.The Congress Party would be contesting on 41 seats in the coming assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. The decision came after senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad met DMK chief M Karunanidhi on April 4 for seat-sharing.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The DMK had walked out of the UPA alliance in 2013, after joining hands for 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Both the parties however, revived the alliance on February 13, with Azad, the in-charge of Congress affairs in Tamil Nadu, holding the first round of seat-sharing talks with Karunanidhi on March 25, 2016 in Chennai.
ALSO READ Tamil Nadu elections 2016: Sonia Gandhi hits campaign trail; slams AIADMK and Modi govtTamil Nadu will vote in a single phase on May 16 while the results will be announced on May 19. Tamil Nadu has 234 assembly seats. In the 2011 assembly elections, AIADMK had won 150, DMDK-29, DMK-23, CPM-10, CPI-9 and others-13 seats respectively.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Phones, electricity, loans, wi-fi and other freebies galore in AIADMK manifesto

Ruling AIADMK has promised a slew of freebies in its manifesto for the May 16 Assembly elections, assuring mobile phone to all ration card holders, free 100 units of power and Wi-Fi in public places if it was voted to power for another term.Strategically timed on a day when Congress President Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to address a poll rally along with ally and DMK President M Karunanidhi, the manifesto was unveiled by Jayalalithaa at a public rally here, in a departure from usual practice of release at party headquarters in Chennai.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Highlighting key aspects of the much-awaited manifesto containing series of populist measures covering various sectors, she promised that her party, if voted again to power, will provide mobile phone to all ration card holders.EmploymentSteps will be taken to ensure employment to one member of each household through various programmes including vocational training, Jayalalithaa said.She said her party-led government will provide 100 units of power to all households under the present consumption calculation method, saying it will benefit 78 lakh consumers “who need not pay electricity bills,” if it came to effect.Free laptop for students”The free laptop scheme for students of Classes XI and XII will continue and free internet connection will be provided along with this,” she said amidst loud cheers from the large gathering in this rural town in Western Tamil Nadu.Assistance under a maternity schemeJayalalithaa promised to increase financial assistance under a maternity scheme from Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000 and assured to double the quantum of gold for thali (mangal sutra) from the existing four gm.Further, the party assured to give a Rs 500 coupon for people to buy handloom clothes from state-run Co-optex during the harvest festival of Pongal.Farm loans Waiver of cooperative farm loans, creation of Amma Venture Capital Fund of Rs 500 crore to promote first generation entrepreneurs, a Rs 100 crore Amma Collateral Guarantee Fund to provide collateral-free loans to SMEs were some of the other promises made in the manifesto.The manifesto also said government will repay educational loans of persons who remain unemployed, and assured to provide 50 per cent subsidy for women to buy scooter or moped.Amma Banking CardThe party promised to provide ‘Amma Banking Card’ in association with banks and this can be used for all banking transactions and receive government services.In the farm sector, AIADMK promised to give Rs 40,000 crore of crop loan for the 2016-21 five year period, and assured to expedite mechanisation of farming activities besides a host of other welfare measures including various subsidies.Genetically-modified seeds will not be allowed in the state and nature farming will be encouraged, it said and reiterated its commitment against implementation of Coal Bed Methane and shale gas projects in the Cauvery delta area as well as the GAIL pipeline through farmlands in the state.On the inter-state river disputes, the AIADMK manifesto promised to strive for ‘complete implementation’ of the 2007 final award of the Cauvery Tribunal while efforts will be taken to raise the water storage level at Mullaperiar in Kerala to 152 ft.For fishermen, the party promised hiking the dole during fishing ban period to Rs 5,000, a separate housing scheme for them and retrieving the islet katchatheevu from Sri Lanka.ElectricityIn the power sector, the party promised to add 18,500 MW of power from various sources in the next five years and assured that power infrastructure will be upgraded for proper distribution of electricity.AIADMK also promised implementation of prohibition in a phased manner, besides establishment of Lokayukta, expanding the Metro Rail projects to other cities like Coimbatore, a series of projects in highways, infrastructure and a new granite policy.Efforts by neighbouring states to “deny water” to Tamil Nadu will be countered through talks and by approaching the Supreme Court, the party said.Various schemes aimed at mitigating price-rise, such as ‘Amma Cement,’ ‘Amma Dispensaries’ and free mineral water schemes will be upgraded and expanded.A Dr BR Ambedkar Foundation will be established at a cost of Rs five crore to spread the ideals of the leader, it said while promising a series of welfare measures to SC/ST and minority community members.Flagship schemes announced in the 2011 poll manifesto,like providing free milch animals, will continue, the party said.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: MK Alagiri loyalists send out warning to DMK

In a twist to the upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu, MK Alagiri, the elder son of DMK leader M Karunanidhi, has now reportedly made a demand just before Karunanidhi hit the campaign trail in Madurai.According to a report by The New Indian Express, on Monday, Alagiri reportedly had a meeting with his loyalists who sent out a message to Karunanidhi asking that Alagiri be taken back into the party. If DMK did not heed, then the votes which the Alagiri faction commands in the 10 constituencies in the district will not be cast, was their warning.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report adds that Alagiri held a meeting at Harveypatti with his loyalists. Some Alagiri supporters have told the daily that a few of his supporters have filed nominations as independent candidates in Madurai Central, Madurai East, Usilampatti, Melur and Thiruparankundram. These supporters could get about 8000 to 10,000 votes each and if Alagiri was not taken back into the party fold, then these votes would go against the DMK. Sani Bhai, a former councillor of Thirunagar town panchayat, reiterated this to the daily.M Hakim Raj, the former vice chairman of Thiruparankundram municipality, has told the daily that three seats were given to DMDK but Alagiri who has worked for the party most of his life was not given due importance. However, Alagiri has told the daily he will not support any party this time round. He was quoted saying that he thinks his supporters will make their own choice as to whom they want to vote for. As for whether his loyalists would work against the DMK, he did not comment. Madurai-based Alagiri was the face of DMK in southern districts. He was, however, expelled in 2014 for anti-party activities.

More than 3,800 candidates in fray in Tamil Nadu elections

Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and DMK President M Karunanidhi, are among over 3,800 candidates who were left in the fray at the end of withdrawal of nominations today for the May 16 Tamil Nadu assembly elections.On the last day today, more than 300 candidates withdrew their nominations, according to the Election Commission. A total of 7,151 persons had filed their nomination papers with 4,128 of them being accepted after scrutiny on April 30. More than 3400 men, about 320 women and two third gender candidates will fight the elections. Among those contesting the election are Jayalalithaa (R K Nagar), Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur), his son M K Stalin (Kolathur), Chief Ministerial candidates of DMDK-PWF-TMC combine and PMK, Vijayakant (Ulundurpet) and Anbumani Ramadoss (Pennagaram) respectively and VCK founder Thol.Thirumavalavan (Kattumannarkoil-SC). <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a multi-cornered fight, AIADMK is facing the polls virtually by itself by contesting from 227 seats, with smaller allies being allotted seven constituencies. DMK has aligned with Congress after a three-year break and is leading a multi-party coalition. DMDK has joined hands with MDMK founder Vaiko-led People’s Welfare Front and GK Vasan’s TMC. CPI (M), CPI and VCK are the other constituents of PWF. BJP has tied up with IJK and Kila Indiya Makkal Kalvi Munnetra Kazhagam.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Despite hot weather, election rallies continue in full swing

The temperatures across Tamil Nadu are hitting 40 degree celsius, but election campaigns are in full swing.The temperature in Chennai is likely to go down and remain around 36 degree celsius from May 1 to May 15 according to a MET department official. But cities like Madurai, Trichy and Salem are still going to be sizzling at 39 degree to 40 degree celsius.Despite the hot weather, the election rallies are seeing massive crowds. On Sunday, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa addressed a rally in Coimbatore which saw the temperature at 38 to 40 degrees over the weekend. She had been holding rallies in the afternoon at 3 pm, but after the death of four party workers in Vriddhachalam and Salem in the last few weeks, she shifted her rallies to 4 pm. Jayalalithaa has held eight rallies so far and her speeches are usually about 45 minutes long. The DMK on the other hand, has Karunanidhi on stage for just about 20 minutes. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parties are providing free water, some cash and biriyani to the supporters who sit for hours in the hot sun waiting for the leaders to take the stage, Before they arrive at the venue, many walk for several kilometres as well. A New Indian Express report said that around 15 people had to be hospitalised after they collapsed due to sunstroke at elections rallies. Police officers too collapsed in the heat in some places. The state is set to go to elections on May 16 and the parties are forced to hold rallies despite the unforgiving weather.

Tamil Nadu polls 2016: CM Jayalalithaa slams Karunanidhi, terms DMK-Congress tie up as ‘corrupt alliance’

Terming the DMK-Congress tie up for the May 16 Tamil Nadu assembly polls as a “corrupt alliance,” AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday alleged that no election promise was fulfilled by DMK unless it “benefitted” party president M Karunanidhi and his family.DMK had only fulfilled promises which benefitted his family, she said and cited their distribution of free colour televisions worth Rs 2,000 each to people, but charging Rs 3,000 for cable connections run by its family members, thus earning Rs 25,000 crore in five years.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The unfulfilled promises made by that party in 2006 included providing solar energy in remote villages, elections to cooperative societies, setting up a food processing export centre and a memorial for late actor Shivaji Ganesan,she said.Though DMK had been charging her party with not fulfilling election promises made in 2011, her government had made good on almost all of them, coming under 54 heads, like infrastructure and education, Jayalalithaa said. The Chief Minister was addressing a huge rally here, seeking votes for the AIADMK and alliance candidates in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nilgiris districts and also Kerala.On DMK-Congress alliance, she demanded to know why Karunanidhi had joined hands with a party which he had once blamed was “taking revenge” on it on the 2G spectrum scam. She ridiculed both parties, which she said were “partners in corruption and scams like spectrum, coal, CWG and Adarsh scam” and the current Agusta Westland Chopper deal and wondered how they will give a corruption free government in Tamil Nadu.Jayalalithaa also promised to develop constituencies in Kerala if AIADMK candidates win in that state. She said efforts would be taken to make the High Ranges in Idukki district into a major tourist centre If her party candidates won, the AIADMK would ensure that all tea estate workers in Devikulam are protected under social security scheme. Also ropeway would be set up in Munnar, another major tourist spot in that state, the Chief Minister said.Jayalalitha also promised the voters that efforts would be made to construct a flyover in Nadakkavu near Malampuzha. Jayalalithaa said the statements by Karunanidhi during the last three days on prohibition was “contradictory and confusing.”Leaders of all political parties were now talking about bringing prohibition in the state. AIADMK also announced that prohibition will be implemented in phased manner, like reducing the time of retail outlets, reducing the number of wine shops, detaching bars and also opening de-addiction centres for the affected, if returned to power, she said.However, the statements by Karunanidhi for the last three days were “contradictory and confusing”, as he announced that the first signature if voted to power will be for prohibition, she said. He changed it the next day and stated that a law will be enacted with regard to prohibition, which was confusing, she said.Stating that it was doubtful whether DMK was interested in bringing in prohibition, Jayalalithaa alleged that the party wanted to exploit it only to gain votes.

Tamil Nadu polls 2016: Karunanidhi declares assets worth Rs 13.42 crore

DMK President M Karunanidhi has declared assets of Rs 13.42 crore in his affidavit filed along with his nomination papers for the Tiruvarur assembly segment on Monday.As per the affidavit, these assets come under movable category as he has declared that he does not have any immovable property or agricultural land. His wives have Rs 45.34 crore worth of movable assets.92-year-old Karunanidhi, who is contesting from Tiruvarur for the second time, has declared a total income of Rs 1.21 crore for 2014-15 and has Rs 50,000 as cash in hand. He has bank deposits to the tune of Rs 12.73 crore and shares at Anjugam Printers valued at Rs 10.22 lakh.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karunanidhi’s first wife Dayalu Ammal has bank deposits of Rs 99.67 crore and holds 60 lakh shares in Kalaignar Television Ltd valued at Rs six crore. She also has old jewellery of 716.34 grams valued at Rs 15.65 lakh.Karunanidhi’s second wife Rajathi Ammal has bank deposits of Rs 22.88 lakh and holds 25 lakh shares in Westgate Logistics valued at Rs 2.50 crore. She holds jewellery of 640 grams valued at Rs 13.98 lakh.While Karunanidhi does not own any agricultural land or a house or a car, Dayalu Ammal has 2,520 square feet of residential property at Tiruvarur and Rajathi Ammal a 9,494 sq ft house at CIT Colony, Chennai.Rajathi Ammal has unsecured loan of Rs 1.17 crore to be repaid to her daughter and MP Kanimozhi. Rajathi Ammal has got loans from banks and other financial institutions for Rs 11.94 crore. During 2011 assembly polls, Karunanidhi and his wives had declared movable assets of Rs 41.13 crore.

Tamil Nadu polls 2016: Karunanidhi continues his attack on Jayalalithaa over 2015 floods

Continuing his attack against arch-rival and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa over the December 2015 deluge in Tamil Nadu, DMK President M Karunanidhi on Sunday once again slammed her for not meeting affected people during the crisis in this district. He asked if those in the ruling saddle really helped people when it was required.”How much were you affected by the floods. The Chief Minster–did they meet you? Did they provide what you needed then? Did they wipe your tears,” he said while addressing an election rally. However, DMK believed in standing ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with people and assured that his partymen will assist the people at any hour of need.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cuddalore was one of the worst-affected districts following the torrential rain in December last which resulted in severe floods in Tamil Nadu. Launching his election campaign on Saturday from Chennai, Karunanidhi had slammed Jayalalithaa, saying she had not met the people of flood-affected areas then.Corruption had grown manifold in the AIADMK rule, the DMK President alleged while levelling charges of corruption against AIADMK ministers without naming them. Making a strong pitch for his party to be voted to power in the May 16 Assembly polls, Karunanidhi said DMK was not a mere political party but a movement which strived for social equality.”DMK is not just a party but a political movement. We want a caste-free society and we are ready to counter anyone who goes against such principles,” he said.Seeking votes for the candidates of DMK and its allies including Congress in constituencies in this district, he urged the people to strengthen his party’s hands in its effort to ensure a caste-free society.