Indian Express

Why should we apologise? Cong asks Karunanidhi

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dmk-m M Karunanidhi

A DAY after M Karunanidhi offered to “forgive” Congress, the national party on Thursday did not take kindly to the DMK chief’s charge of “ingratitude” and said it had nothing to apologise for.

TNCC president B S Gnanadesikan, who recently rubbed the former ally the wrong way by announcing his intention to meet Karunanidhi’s rebel son MK Alagiri, asked the DMK patriarch to first prepare a list of the alleged betrayals by Congress before seeking an apology.

In a surprise move, the DMK chief had said on Wednesday that he was ready to forgive their (Congress’s) acts and give them amnesty, if the Congress leaders were to express regret, mend their manners, and stand on the secular platform. Karunanidhi, however, also gave a tongue lashing to Congress for their alleged acts of betrayal.

Reacting to the DMK chief’s barbs, Gnanadesikan said his party was unaffected by the former ally’s criticism. “If he prepares a list of these so-called betrayals, I am ready to reply to them,” he said.

Ingratitude was the recurring theme during Karunanidhi’s first campaign speech ahead of general elections, in which he charged the Congress of causing trouble to the DMK and its leaders even while being dependent on it for retaining power at the Centre. He did not, however, specify any instances, widely considered to be the 2G spectrum sale scam that has his protege, daughter and even ailing wife as accused.

Another senior Congress leader E V K S Elangovan, a well-known critic of the Dravidian parties who was once the chief of the state unit, said it was Karunanidhi who had forgotten the past. Between 2006 and 2011, when Karunanidhi was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, he said, it was with Congress MLAs’ outside support that his government survived. More recently, his daughter Kanimozhi won the election to Rajya Sabha only with the help of five Congress MLAs.

According to Gnanadesikan, it was the DMK which had made it routine to quit an alliance just before elections, adding that the results will show who would be reduced to the wilderness – a future that the DMK chief had predicted for the Congress party.

Yesterday, Karunanidhi had offered conditional post-poll support to Congress, provided the party expressed regret for its mistakes. Though he based it on his keenness to forge a secular platform, it was interpreted as a cease-and-desist directive on co-opting with Alagiri, the former south zone organiser who was expelled earlier this week for his refusal to accede to his younger brother, MK Stalin’s command.

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