Chennai | Accusing the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu of using late leader M G Ramachandran’s birth centenary for “political mileage”, DMK president M K Stalin Saturday said he will not take part in the valedictory function to be held here.
“I am not in agreement with using MGR’s name for political mileage and party politics in the garb of a government event…. I have decided not to participate in it,” he said, referring to the valedictory slated to be held on Sunday.
Stalin, the leader of opposition in the state Assembly, dubbed as “pompous” the event being organised by the government using taxpayers’ money to further the “remaining political journey” of the incumbent All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader said he, however, respected the “political culture” of including his name into the list of invitees for the function.
The DMK chief accused Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his cabinet colleagues of “below par civility” for attacking his party, its late patriarch M Karunanidhi and his family at government-organised events to mark the MGR centenary in several districts.
Urging the government to hold Sunday’s event only to highlight the former chief minister’s reputation, without “politicising” it, Stalin said the friendship between late leaders Karunanidhi and Ramachandran was above political differences.
He said somebody should have reminded late J Jayalalithaa that the centenary celebrations should have commenced in January, 2016. MG Ramachandran (1917-1987) was the AIADMK founder and chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1977 to 1987.
A superstar in the Tamil filmdom in the 1950s and 1960s, MGR, as he was popularly called, cut his political teeth in the DMK, before parting ways with Karunanidhi following differences. The state government, which launched the MGR birth centenary celebrations last year, has so far held related events in 31 districts and the valedictory event marks its culmination.
In connection with such events, the chief minister has inaugurated projects worth over Rs 5,140.10 crore, laid foundation stones for projects worth Rs 5,747.24 crore and distributed welfare assistance worth Rs 5,464.79 crore among 8,26,392 beneficiaries.