Describing himself as a ‘son of the soil' in the Tiruvarur constituency, DMK president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Sunday said contesting in his hometown was a unique source of happiness for him.
“I have contested from places such as Thanjavur, Kulithalai and many times in Chennai in the past. But contesting from Tiruvarur is dear to my heart as it is my ‘thaiveedu' [maternal home],” he said, addressing people at various places in the Tiruvarur Assembly constituency on the last leg of his election tour. Campaign ends on Monday.
Mr. Karunanidhi, who arrived at his relative's house on Sannidhi Street opposite the Sri Thyagarajaswamy Temple by noon from Chidambaram, started his campaign in the evening and went down memory lane.
His first stop was the Tiruvarur bus stand. Addressing voters, he said the DMK government's achievements were appreciated by none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Congress president Sonia Gandhi had also appreciated the good work done by DMK regime in the State. “If the good work has to continue, you should vote for the DMK,” Mr.Karunanidhi said.
“Tiruvarur has changed a lot since my childhood. The Tiruvarur I saw did not have beautiful buildings like now. There are many educational institutions now. The face of Tiruvarur town has been changed by the DMK government,” he said.
At Kidaran Kondan, he recalled the steps taken by him to start a government college. “It is now functioning in the name of Tamil scholar Thiru.Vi.Ka.”
In the Kilvelur constituency in Nagapattinam district from where Dairy Development Minister U. Mathivanan is contesting, the Chief Minister said steps would be taken to create a new lake on 25 acres of land in Etturkudi for irrigation, if DMK was voted to power. Under the Kalaignar Housing Scheme, 1.40 lakh houses have been constructed so far, he said. “I have visited Ettukudi in my childhood days. The place has a Muruga temple. People used to bear ‘kavadi' to Lord Muruga. They used to chant “Muruganukku Vel Vel.” It is still ringing in my years. While it is Murugan at Ettukudi, it is Lord Singaravelan in Sikkal,” he said.
Mr. Karunanidhi campaigned at Semanglaam, Alivalam, Pulivalam, Thierunellikaval, Lakshmangudi and Mavur and was accorded a warm reception.
He will continue his campaign on Monday and address a public meeting on the banks of Kamalalayam at 4 p.m. His daughter Selvi accompanied him during his campaign.
ON CONGRESS-DMK TIES
Staff Reporter writes from Mayiladuthurai:
The relationship between the DMK and the Congress has grown from strength to strength, infusing respect and life into the alliance, Mr. Karunanidhi said on the campaign trail from Chidambaram to Tiruvarur on Sunday.
The alliance had stood the test of time, with the Congress-led Centre as the “pillar of strength” for all schemes the DMK-led State government implemented in the past five years.
It has been a relationship founded on mutuality, Mr. Karunanidhi said, while campaigning for the sitting Congress MLA in Mayiladuthurai. According to the DMK chief, such has been the “convergence of ideas” between the partners that it led to the fulfilment of the State's necessities.
Therefore, both the governments at the Centre and in the State should continue, he said. The DMK chief's campaign trail passed through Sirkazhi and Mangainallur in Poompuhar.