Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi inaugurated a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagm party office “Kalaignar Arivalayam” here on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the construction of party office buildings was one of the many dreams of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai, and his government was making these dreams one after another a reality.
In a September 2003 conference, the party passed a resolution to construct the Arivalayam and, with the efforts of Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy and party cadre, it had now come up well.
Mr. Karunanidhi reminisced the days when he lived, acted and made friends with several people in Villupuram in 1945. Ever since, the DMK was flourishing well here.
He told the party cadre that the Arivalayam need not always be named after him. He opined that Arivayalams could be set up all over the country in the names of those who shed blood, dared their lives for a public cause and those who had served the interests of the people.
The Dravidian movement always recognised the contributions of national leaders, even if they belonged to other political spectrums. After Independence, the State was ruled by Omandurar, Kamaraj and Bakthvatchalam.
But the then rulers did not construct any memorials for the illustrious leaders who had fought for freedom. Maybe, the then leaders had become fatigued by the freedom struggle, he said.
When DMK came to power in 1967, Annadurai announced the change of name for Madras State by reciting thrice the term “Tamil Nadu” in the Assembly and others raised the chorus “Long Live Tamil Nadu” thrice.
After Annadurai's death, when Mr. Karunanidhi came to power, he found that the wooden oil extractor to which V.O. Chidambaram was yoked during the British period was kept at the Coimbatore Central Prison and arranged for its the public view.
However, Mr. Karuananidhi said that good work by his government was criticised by certain people. The critics did not spare even the new Secretariat being built at a cost of about Rs.500 crore, to be inaugurated on March 13 in the presence of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as they raised doubts over its stability.
The DMK would not be deterred by brickbats but would continue to do good for the people and grow in stature. Its growth was tremendous not only in towns but also villages.
After visiting rural areas, Law Minister Durai Murugan said partymen need not canvass for votes as the people on their own were coming to vote. But Mr. Karunanidhi warned that it did not mean that the cadre could take it easy and remain complacent.
He pointed out that wherever Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin went he attracted a huge crowd and such large gatherings could be seen only in his (Mr. Karunanidhi's) meetings. The Chief Minister further said that he was overawed by the arrangements in Villupuram and the banners put up to highlight the achievements of the government would be useful for the next generation.
On the occasion, Mr. Karunanidhi solemnised the marriage of former MLA Mookkappan's daughter and also opened the Indian Bank biometric Automated Teller Machine on the Arivalayam premises. Mr. Stalin, Durai Murugan and party leaders participated.