Contending that there was support for Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s candidature for the post of Prime Minister, DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Saturday wanted him to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Tamil Nadu by implementing the Sethusamudram Project.
Addressing a function organised to release a book P. Chidambaram Oru Paarvai, a compilation of views by people from different walks of life, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the Finance Minister, the DMK leader said the Sethusamudram Project should be Mr. Chidambaram’s birthday gift on his 67th birthday.
“If implemented, his name will become part of Tamil Nadu’s history,” he said in the presence of Mr Chidambaram, who was sitting among the audience in the Kamaraj Arangam.
Pointing out that it was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who laid the foundation stone for the project in the presence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Karunanidhi said the implementation of the project would increase trade and give a boost to the economy.
Recounting the gradual rise of Mr. Chidambaram in national politics, beginning as a minister of state for personnel administration, Mr. Karunanidhi said the applause of the audience at the mention of the remark made by other speakers that a “dhoti-clad Tamil should be the Prime Minister” indicated what the people expected of him.
“When you say a dhoti-clad Tamil should be the Prime Minister, you would have found a fitting reply to the view that a sari-clad Tamil should be the Prime Minister,” he said, in an apparent reference to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
Mr. Karunanidhi said though Mr. Chidambaram played a crucial role in 1996 in the formation of the Tamil Maanila Congress as a response to the Congress High Command’s decision to align with the AIADMK, he openly differed with G.K. Moopanar when he decided to face the 2001 Assembly election in the company of the AIADMK. Earlier, speaker after speaker expressed their desire for Chidambaram becoming the Prime Minister.
Actor Rajinikanth, who also spoke, said Mr. Chidambaram had been asking him why he was not entering politics and his response was “when I decide to do, it will be in my own unique way.”
TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan, lyricist Vairamuthu, Tamil scholar Avvai Natarajan, poet Tamizhachi Thangapandian, actor Kamal Hassan and Prof Abdul Kader participated. The first copy of the book was received by Mr. Chidambaram’s mother Lakshmi Aachi.