Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday appeared to soft-pedal his controversial remarks about Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief Prabhakaran, by describing the LTTE as an 'extremist organisation'.
A day after his remarks created a flutter, he told reporters that the "LTTE was not started as an extremist organisation like the Naxalite movement. It was started as a liberation movement but down the road it became an extremist organisation."
Karunanidhi said his interview to a television channel on Sunday was 'misinterpreted and blown out of proportion'.
"I had given the interview for more than one hour and answered questions on various subjects. But only one sentence was picked up," he said.
"I don't see him like that. Prabhakaran is my good friend. I am not a terrorist," he had told the interviewer when asked whether he saw the LTTE chief as a terrorist.
"Those in Prabhakaran's group may have taken to terrorism. But that is not Prabhakaran's fault," the Tamil Nadu CM had said
On Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko's remarks that the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi had been forgotten by the people, Karunanidhi said the Sriperumpudur (where Gandhi was killed by a LTTE suicide bomber) incident could never be forgotten by anyone in the country.
"That is why we gave the land free of cost for a memorial for Rajiv Gandhi. As long as the memorial is there, nobody can forget that. That is why the IT corridor was named after Rajiv Gandhi," he said.
When queried on his remarks that he would be saddened if Prabhakaran was killed in the ongoing offensive by the Sri Lankan army, he said, "Everybody will regret it".