Special Correspondent

Wherever it is possible and wherever it is required, he says

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Sunday said he would campaign with Congress president Sonia Gandhi wherever it was possible and wherever it was required.

He said the campaign, which would begin on April 18, would focus on schemes implemented by the Central government for the benefit of various States, especially for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu.

“Victory is ours,” he said when asked about the prospects of the DMK-led alliance in the elections.

Mr. Karunanidhi said he was happy and proud that besides the Congress and the BJP, various regional parties had adopted the Re 1 per kg rice scheme, free colour television distribution scheme and free house site patta scheme.

“We don’t think that these parties have copied our schemes,” he said adding that he would be doubly happy if social schemes such as self-respect marriage, Periyar samathuvapurams and reservation in States according to the local population and schemes were also implemented.

The Chief Minister disagreed with the view that the coming together of Lalu Prasad, Ramvilas Paswan and Mulayam Singh would spoil the prospects of the Congress-led alliance.

Drawing a parallel between the political situation in the country, especially in North India, and the movies, he said whatever might be the beginning, in a denouement the climax would take a new turn.

Asked about Mr. Lalu Prasad’s assertion that only the North Indians would decide who would rule the country, he refused to comment saying that the Railway Minister was his good friend.

Explaining that 33 per cent reservation for women had already been implemented in local bodies in Tamil Nadu, he said the party had been demanding similar reservation in Assemblies and in the Parliament. The DMK’s nomination of two women candidates for the Lok Sabha polls was a good beginning, he said.

When his attention was drawn to the reports that most of the LTTE bases had been captured by the Sri Lankan Army and its leader Prabakaran and his son were hiding, he said it was a news from the war front.

“We have been demanding a ceasefire for the last six months,” he said and recalled the call made by various countries, the United Nations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ms. Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in this regard.

“But Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not stopped the war. We condemn him,” he said.