Affirming that discipline has been instrumental for the strength and success of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for decades, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said he was still young enough to protect the party.

Addressing a public meeting organised on his 86th birthday in Chennai on Thursday, Mr. Karunanidhi recalled the words of Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) founder Periyar to his partymen after the demise of Annadurai to stay disciplined for the movement to flourish.

With self-respect, discipline, Periyarism and Annaism as seeds, the DMK had grown like a banyan tree giving shade even to the king. Repeatedly emphasising that he derived strength, wisdom and courage from millions of cadre, Mr. Karunanidhi appealed to everyone in the party to uphold discipline and unity to be victorious in future.

Recalling attempts in the past to weaken the party, including enactment of a law, he said it was discipline that conquered the repeated attempts of divisive forces.

Successive victories in the 11 by-polls after 2006 had not made the party arrogant, but only encouraged the leadership to implement more welfare schemes. Insisting that the cadres always had the opportunity to become leaders in the party, Mr. Karunanidhi said he might be an elder at 86 but was still young enough to protect Tamil language, self-respect and the DMK. Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan, Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Law Minister Durai Murugan, and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi spoke.