The Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, M. Karunanidhi and B.S. Yeddyurappa, on Thursday renewed their call for strengthening the bonds between the people of the two States.

They were speaking at a function to unveil the statue of Kannada poet Sarvajna here.

Mr. Yeddyurappa, who unveiled the statue at Jeeva Park at Ayanavaram from a distance of one-and-half km using remote control, acknowledged that there were some contentious issues involving the two States. “But these are not issues that are impossible to solve. In the adoption of a give-and-take policy lies the well-being and good of all. It is only when we realise the importance of this truth can we find a solution to all disputes. It will foster the building of bridges of friendship,” he said.

Presiding over the function, Mr. Karunanidhi described Sarvajna’s statue as a statue of unity. “Let us guide the people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in a spirit of brotherhood. Let us cater to their requirements,” he said referring to Mr. Yeddyurappa’s description of him as “periyanna” (elder brother).

The unveiling of the statues of Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore on Sunday last and Sarvajna in Chennai was not done on a quid pro quo basis but by way of following the teachings of the poets, Mr. Karunanidhi said.

Referring to the Karnataka Chief Minister’s observation earlier in a chat with reporters that the issues would be resolved amicably, Mr. Karunanidhi said there were elements out to distract the attention of the two States from dispute resolution. “Instead of giving room to them, let us strive hard for fulfilling the vow that we took today to unify the people and ensure that they enjoy their rights,” Mr. Karunanidhi said.

Likening the differences to flowers of different shapes, sizes and colours in a beautiful garden, Mr. Yeddyurappa said: “Difference of opinion is also quite natural. But we should be sagacious enough to devise means to resolve them. Mutual trust and discussion facilitate such a course of action.”

The two Chief Ministers quoted verses of Sarvajna to drive home the point that the poet’s views were relevant. Later, they visited Jeeva Park where the statue is located.

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan, Bharatiya Janata Party national general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar, Karnataka Home Minister V.S. Acharya and film personalities Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan were present.

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