Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Monday ordered that the Radhapuram bus stand in Tirunelveli district be named after former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj.

Making an announcement, the Chief Minister, in an official release, referred to the demand in certain quarters that the bus stand be named after Kamaraj.

Noting that two persons were on a fast [last week] at the Satyamurti Bhavan, the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee headquarters, in support of the demand and were arrested on a complaint given by the headquarters secretary of the party, Mr Karunanidhi said he had ordered their release.

The Chief Minister pointed out that the bus stand was set up at a cost of Rs. 77 lakh on the initiative of the local Member of Legislative Assembly M. Appavu, who belongs to the ruling party.

It was nine months ago that the issue over the naming of the bus stand arose. At that time, the Chief Minister clarified that the government had not issued any order naming the Radhapuram bus stand after his parents, Muthuvelar and Anjugathammal.

As for the statues of his parents, he had explained then that the local MLA had borne the expenses for their installation and maintenance. The authorities had given permission for the installation on condition that this should not pose any difficulty to vehicular movement. Mr Karunanidhi had also directed the district administration that the statues need not be unveiled then.

When Deputy Chief Minister M. K. Stalin declared open the bus stand in October, he refrained from unveiling the statues in view of the Chief Minister's directive. A month later, a host of dignitaries, including Assembly Speaker R. Avudaiappan and Ministers T.P.M. Mohideen Khan and Poongothai, garlanded the statues.