Erode is not only the birthplace of social reformer Periyar E.V. Ramasamy but is also the “gurukulam” for former DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi as it shaped him, said Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday.
Unveiling the statue of the former Chief Minister at Kallipatti in Gobichettipalayam taluk in Erode district, Mr. Stalin recalled the late leader’s strong association with Erode. “Though Tiruvarur is his birthplace, Erode shaped him and it is his gurukulam”, he said recalling that during the Dravidar Kazhagam conference in Erode in 1948, Karunanidhi staged a drama ‘Thooku Medai’ after which he got many chances in the cinema industry. “Periyar asked Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) to enter the cinema industry”, he said.
When Karunanidhi was the Minister for Public Works, it was Periyar who came up with an idea to install a statue for him on Mount Road (now Anna Salai) in Chennai that was unveiled in 1975. “But, it was vandalised in 1987 [after then Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran’s death] and I don’t want to talk about it”, he said.
The CM said many leaders even before starting political parties claim that they are the next Chief Minister. The DMK was formed in 1949, but did not rush to contest in elections. “Only after getting consent from the party cadres at the conference held in Tiruchi, the party faced its first election in 1957”, he said and added that the party has formed the government for the sixth time in the State.
Minister for Housing and Urban Development S. Muthusamy, DMK deputy general secretary Subbulakshmi Jegadeesan, DMK Erode north district secretary N. Nallasivam and functionaries were present.