“Baalu still continues as Railway Committee’s chairman’’

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi does not seem to be interested in cutting off ties with the Union government, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly.

Replying to a discussion on a special call attention motion on students’ agitation over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the Chief Minister said the DMK leader had sought to portray his party’s pullout from the Union government as a very great act of sacrifice. But, why was Mr Karunanidhi keeping mum on the continuance of DMK parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu as Railway Committee’s chairman, reported observations of former Union Minister and Mr. Karunanidhi’s son M.K. Alagiri that after quitting the post, he could not perform public service, and those of DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan at the party executive meeting that the DMK would not be a party to any move to dislodge the Union government, Ms Jayalalithaa asked.

IPL

Referring to the inclusion of two Sri Lankan players — Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera — in Sun Risers cricket team owned by the Sun group of Kalanithi Maran (Who is Mr. Karunanidhi’s grandnephew), she said the Sun group had chosen Sangakkara as the captain of the team, which would take part in IPL matches. “How is Mr Karunanidhi allowing this?” On the one hand, he was giving the impression that he had been moved by the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils. On the other, he wanted to continue ties with the Central government which, she said, stood by the Sri Lankan regime that “destroyed the Tamils.”

It was the “height of selfishness” that Mr Karunanidhi, who revived the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) and demanded that India boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), had remained silent on the presence of the Sri Lankan cricket players in the team owned by his family.

She also disputed his recent contention that at the time of his fast in April 2009, he was misled by the information provided by the Union government that combat operations had come to an end and this information was, in turn, based on what the Sri Lankan government had furnished. Recalling his press interview after the fast, Ms Jayalalithaa said Mr Karunanidhi knew very well even then that there was no ceasefire. The Chief Minister gave an elaborate account of her government's steps on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

Eviction

As soon as the Chief Minister began her reply, DMK members, led by M.K. Stalin, objected to her observation on Mr. Karunanidhi. Some tried to rush to the well of the House. Speaker P. Dhanapal ordered their eviction.

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