Oppn leaders extol Karunanidhi, call for united fight against communal forces
Coming down heavily on the BJP-led central government, various opposition parties on Saturday called for a united fight against communalism and fascism that is trying to divide the country as they gathered here to laud the contributions of DMK president M Karunanidhi.
The DMK meanwhile also hit out at the BJP for trying to "saffronise" the whole country and asserted that it was open to joining the opposition's efforts.
The opposition leaders were here to participate in the public meeting to celebrate Karunanidhi's 94th birthday and also his diamond jubilee year in the Tamil Nadu assembly.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said there is one ideology in the country that thinks it has all the answers and does not talk to others on various issues facing the people.
Recalling how on November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the country's 1.3 billion people that the money in their pockets will be worthless, he said: "He didn't ask anybody and decided unilaterally."
The Congress leader said while the entire world is saying the decline in Indian economy is due to demonetisation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is of different opinion.
"What Jaitley does not telling you is that Modi did not tell him about demonetisation," Gandhi said. "None of us have the arrogance to tell you what is good for you," he told the gathering. Pointing to the opposition leaders on the dais and the people off the dais, Gandhi said none of them would allow the RSS to impose its ideology on the country.
Gandhi said Karunanidhi reflected the views of the people in his writings and speeches and thanked his son and DMK Working President M.K.Stalin for organising the meeting.
"One day we will speak about Stalin as we speak about Karunanidhi today," he said.
Speaking in Hindi which was translated to Tamil, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Karunanidhi is a tall leader who fought for social justice for downtrodden and backward classes. He noted it was Karunanidhi who was instrumental in the implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations providing reservation for backward castes during the National Front government led by V.P.Singh.
Communist Party of India National Secretary D.Raja said if Karunanidhi were present on the dais, he would have spoken against the communal politics in the country.