Protesting against the suspension of his party MLAs from Tamil Nadu Assembly and registration of case against them, DMK President M Karunanidhi on Monday said his party would not be unnerved by the ruling AIADMK or the police and would continue to “grow”. Addressing a public meeting in Chennai to protest against the suspension of 79 party MLAs, including his son and Opposition Leader M K Stalin from the Assembly last week, he said DMK had in the past overcome many such challenges in its growth.
“DMK has not feared any challenge, (especially) that of the ruling party or the police. It has grown despite all these (factors) and will continue to grow,” he said. Flanked by Stalin and other senior leaders, including Deputy Leader of DMK Legislature Party Durai Murugan, the 92-year-old Karunanidhi said there was no need for any apprehension among party workers about the future of DMK.
Youths, students and women will take it forward, he added. Karunanidhi, whose party had lost the May 2016 Assembly polls to archrival AIADMK for a second time after 2011, said Dravidian veteran and DMK founder C N Annadurai himself had lost an election but he was never forgotten by the people.
Earlier, Stalin in his speech said that the DMK has got an “unprecedented” 89 MLAs’ strength in the opposition. Recalling his statement after the poll results that DMK will work as an opposition party and not as an enemy party, he pointed to his party’s support to the government on issues like fully backing a resolution to rename the Madras High Court as Tamil Nadu High Court instead of Chennai High Court as proposed by the Centre.
He rued that even senior AIADMK members made unwarranted remarks against Karunanidhi in the Assembly. Stalin said the Treasury benches often ridiculed his pre-election state-wide tour ‘Namakku Name’. One such remark by an AIADMK member had last week prompted heated exchange of words between the archrivals in the House, culminating in the en masse eviction and suspension of 79 DMK MLAs for a week.
A case has also been filed against Stalin and 59 MLAs for unlawful assembly, after they staged a dharna on August 18, a day after their suspension, in the state Secretariat premises. Karunanidhi had last week asked party cadre to organise public meetings across the state to inform the people about “what is happening” in the Assembly.