Karunanidhi touches upon painful and fond memories.

Saturday was not only a day of celebration for Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi with the opening of the new Assembly complex: it was also an occasion to touch upon some painful memories.

Mr. Karunanidhi recalled that the site [Omandurar Estate] earlier housed the CB CID office which was where he was kept in solitary confinement in 2001 after the midnight arrest. It had also housed the office of the DMK Legislative Party before the members were evicted after the anti-Hindi agitations of 1986.

Calling himself a “simple person,” Mr. Karunanidhi said he had risen from a humble family background only through tireless hard work. Arignar Anna [C.N.Annadurai] had blessed him to “study well” but he had “only learnt to obey the good people,” he said.

An early impression made by an older person during his school years between 1936-1940 in Tiruvarur had resulted in the launching of schemes such as the “Kannoli Vazhangum Thittam” and the Kalaignar Health Insurance Scheme, he said.

The State had announced a scheme to extend appropriate assistance to physically handicapped persons and requested the Union government to provide assistance to the State government to implement its announcements.

He said the complex epitomised “the fond memories of the great men who strove for the welfare of Madras Presidency and later Tamil Nadu” and expressed his “heartfelt gratitude” to the people of Tamil Nadu, to the leaders of the Dravidian movement Thanthai Periyar and Arignar Anna, eminent leaders from other parties such as K. Kamaraj, Rajaji, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Jayaprakash Narayan, Quaid-e-Milleth, P. Jeevanandam and Muthuramalinga Thevar.

Mr. Karunanidhi also expressed his thanks to the thousands of workers who toiled for the building, the construction company and the engineers, Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department, S. Karunagaran, and senior IAS officers K.S. Sripathi, Chief Secretary, K. Gnanadesikan, Finance Secretary, and S. Ramasundaram, PWD secretary.

Recalling the close association between the Congress and the DMK, he said the firm resolve of the leaders of the two parties had defied all endeavours to create enmity between them.

Earlier, R. Avudaiyappan, Speaker, Tamil Nadu Assembly, said the inauguration of the Assembly complex had realised Mr. Karunanidhi's dream.

Mr. Sripathi spoke on the occasion.

Correction

The third paragraph of a report "`DMK, Congress have defied bid to create rift'" (Tamil Nadu, March 14, 2010, page 1) was "It had also housed the office of the DMK Legislative Party before the members were evicted after the anti- Hindi agitations of 1986." A few readers said that the DMK's anti-Hindi agitations were in January 1965. The Chennai Bureau clarifies that this was a later anti-Hindi agitation led by the DMK when MGR was the Chief Minister. This was in 1986 after Rajiv Gandhi introduced the National Education Policy for setting up Navodaya schools.