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Why Rahul did not meet Karunanidhi in TN

Source: PTI
September 10, 2009 11:54 IST

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadres are said to be upset over AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi not calling on party patriarch and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, a practice followed by Congress leaders during their visit to Tamil Nadu.

Rahul is on a three-day visit to the state to attract youth to the Congress in a bid to revitalise the party in a state which is under the rule of Dravidian parties since 1967, when the Congress lost power to DMK.

DMK sources said Congress leaders had not sought any appointment for a Rahul-Karunanidhi meeting so far, though their leader had time and again praised Rahul for his leadership qualities.

"Is it a prelude to shape of things to come. Our leader has clearly stated that nobody on Earth can disturb DMK as it is a cadre-based party," a senior DMK leader, speaking on condition of anonymity said, quoting Karunanidhi's speech at a couple of marriage functions in the city recently.

Congress sources said Rahul's visit, which began on Tuesday, was primarily to supervise the youth Congress membership drive now underway in the state and had nothing to do with the relationship between the two parties.

Rahul himself reportedly told a group of senior journalists during an interaction last night that DMK was a friendly party and he respected Karunanidhi as he was one of the senior-most political leaders of the country.

He reportedly told them that the question of Congress going it alone in future polls should be decided by party president Sonia Gandhi and the AICC general secretary in charge of the state. 

In significant remarks, Rahul yesterday asked party leaders in Tamil Nadu not to continue riding piggyback on the two major Dravidian parties and work towards regaining power.

"Don't continue to ride on the back of two major Dravidian parties (DMK and AIADMK). Work hard and refurbish the image of the party," he is understood to have told party's state executive.

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