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Congress bid for rapprochement between PMK and DMK intensifies

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WISHING SPEEDY RECOVERY: PMK founder S. Ramadoss and party president G.K. Mani with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at SRMC, Porur, on Friday.
WISHING SPEEDY RECOVERY: PMK founder S. Ramadoss and party president G.K. Mani with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at SRMC, Porur, on Friday.

T. Ramakrishnan and B. Kolappan

CHENNAI: Even as Congress leaders in the State intensified efforts to bring about a rapprochement between the Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, PMK founder S. Ramadoss on Friday called on DMK president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who is recuperating after a surgery, at Ramachandra Hospital.

Earlier in the day, Local Administration Minister and Mr. Karunanidhi’s son M.K. Stalin called on Dr. Ramadoss. He along with his brother Tamilarasu invited the PMK leader for the wedding of Mr. Tamilarasu’s daughter.

Immediately after his 10-minute meeting with the Chief Minister, Dr. Ramadoss told The Hindu that there was no political significance attached to the meeting. “I had planned to meet him in the hospital after he underwent the surgery. This was to take place last week. But, on that day, in view of the violence on the High Court campus, I had to visit the injured advocates,” the PMK leader said, recalling that he had met the Chief Minister on January 30.

During the meeting, Mr. Karunanidhi explained to him the severity of the back pain. At the end of the meeting, Dr. Ramadoss handed over to the Chief Minister a copy of the memorandum on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue which he had given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his recent visit to New Delhi, the PMK leader said. The Congress leaders of the State, who were also in touch with PMK leaders, wanted the PMK to face the Lok Sabha polls together with the Congress.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu and Congress Legislature Party leader D. Sudarssanam had already met Dr. Ramadoss. Party whip Peter Alphonse spoke to PMK leader G.K. Mani on Friday. Mr. Sudarassanam said: “In the Assembly, we [Congress and the PMK] sit side by side. We have an opportunity to discuss politics readily. Dr. Ramadoss has also been saying he is with the Congress. Our only objective is that the Congress should score an emphatic win in the Lok Sabha polls,” Mr. Sudarssanam said.

Mr. Peter Alphonse said the foremost priority was to ensure that the secular votes were not split.

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