Jayalalitha Asks, Who Is DMK Chief?

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Chennai:  In a scathing attack on arch rival DMK, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today said there was a “confusion” as to who between M Karunanidhi and M K Stalin is their party chief.

Speaking in the assembly, she said, “To give a reply here, there is a confusion on who their leader is, who is their chief? Is it Karunanidhi, who is referred to as party president or is it the Leader of Opposition (Stalin), who is sitting here?”

Jayalalithaa’s remarks came as she was speaking on the ceding of Katchatheevu islet while referring to a statement of Mr. Karunanidhi which he had made a day after her speech on June 20 on the same matter.

Underlining that her question was for Mr. Karunanidhi, she said, “either DMK members, if they could, answer her or bring their chief to the House” and added that “there is confusion on who their leader is.”

She said, “As a member of the House, he (Karunanidhi) could have expressed his opinion in the House. However, he is issuing a statement without coming to the Assembly. My talk is only related to his statement.”

Soon DMK members were on their feet demanding that Speaker P Dhanapal offers them an opportunity to respond to the AIADMK supremo’s remarks.

Amid noisy scenes, Jayalalithaa said she would wind up her reply to the motion of thanks to Governor’s Address soon and added that others may speak after.

However, DMK members, led by Mr. Stalin, staged a walkout, claiming outside the House that they did not get an opportunity to voice their views.

Jayalalithaa claimed that the DMK members walked out after she said that she wanted to pose questions on Katchatheevu as they knew that they would not be able to answer.

Citing Mr. Karunanidhi’s statement, she said, “Since he has said that (former prime minister) Indira Gandhi pacified (Karunanidhi) giving many rights (for fishermen), does it not mean that he agreed to give Katchatheevu away?” “Why did not the Tamil Nadu government file any case then (when the islet was ceded) when the then Jan Sangh leader A B Vajpayee had said that he would file a case,” she asked.