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On their first visit to Chennai after the acquittal in the 2G case, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and former Union Telecom minister A Raja received a rousing welcome on Saturday. Kanimozhi was seen overwhelmed by the huge gathering at the airport, where DMK working president M K Stalin also met her.
Later, Kanimozhi visited her father, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, at his Gopalapuram residence and was seen falling at his feet as he kissed on her cheeks. Raja too was seen touching Karunanidhi’s feet and holding his hands.
Ahead of their arrival, there were posters all along Anna Salai and even arterial roads leading to Gopalapuram welcoming Kanimozhi. While the occasion was marked by celebration by party cadres, many were seen coming to welcome Kanimozhi with their families and children. Kanimozhi, who used to promote folk art during the 2006-2011 DMK regime was welcomed by dozens of folk artists from faraway villages at her CIT Nagar residence.
Amid reports that the acquittal may lead to a power shift in DMK’s second-level leadership, there were murmurs from leaders close to Stalin on Saturday against the extraordinary efforts made by the Kanimozhi camp to make her arrival a big event. “She brought so many people from villages, they erected stage and posters,” said a DMK youth wing leader in the city.
A senior DMK leader close to the leadership said there may not be any immediate change in the party leadership. “Kanimozhi has already conveyed the message that she is not eyeing a key post. Eventually, she may emerge as a leader to help Stalin, to do what Stalin did for Karunanidhi.”
Still, Stalin prefers to send her to Delhi and project her as the Delhi face of the party. As long as she has no dreams to compete with Stalin, he will give her a deserving space. Raja will be a candidate in the next assembly polls and he will get a cabinet post too if the party wins,” the leader said.