TAMIL NADU

CM comments unbecoming of office: DMK, CPI (M)

CHENNAI April 9. The DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, today said it was not civilised behaviour on the part of a Chief Minister to speak derogatorily of other State Governments or their Chief Ministers.

Referring to the comments the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, made in the Assembly yesterday on how the communist parties stayed on in power in West Bengal, Mr. Karunanidhi recalled that she also accused the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, of having been part of a fraud he (Mr.Karunanidhi) had perpetrated on the people in the name of Krishna water. She adopted a similar posture against the Karnataka Government after the forest bandit, Veerappan, had kidnapped the former Karnataka Minister, H. Nagappa, and also during the standoff over the Cauvery.

No one who claimed to be part of the Dravidian ethos could speak ill of communist ideals and programmes, said Mr. Karunanidhi.

The CPI (M) also condemned the comments made by the Chief Minister. In a strongly-worded statement, the State secretary, N. Varadarajan, said Ms. Jayalalithaa should speak in a manner befitting her position. He recalled that it was the AIADMK which was censured by the Election Commission just before the Sattankulam Assembly byelection, and not the CPI (M). He accused the AIADMK of having plumbed new depths of malpractice during the last Chennai Mayor elections.

Taking exception to her comments, Mr. Varadarajan said it was only a leader of the communist party and former West Bengal Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu, who sought retirement even when he was in power and was popular. He even declined an offer to become Prime Minister. No other party had leaders who left office in the manner in which the CPI (M) leaders had done.