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PM Modi Meets DMK Chief Karunanidhi, Chennai Abuzz With 2019 Speculation

The 10-minute meeting between PM Narendra Modi and DMK chief Karunanidhi comes amid political turmoil in the state where the EPS-OPS faction of the ruling AIADMK is struggling to retain majority in the face of TTV Dinakaran’s defiance against stepping aside.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:November 6, 2017, 4:24 PM IST
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PM Modi Meets DMK Chief Karunanidhi, Chennai Abuzz With 2019 Speculation
PM Narendra Modi meets DMK chief Karunanidhi at the latter’s Gopalpuram residence in Chennai on Monday. (@kalaignar89/Twitter)
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Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met DMK chief Karunanidhi at the latter’s Gopalpuram residence in Chennai on Monday morning, setting off speculation ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

"Vanakkam, Sir", Modi greeted Karunanidhi as he sat near the 93-year-old and held his hand. Accompanied by Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Pon Radhakrishnan, Modi was with the DMK leader for about 10 minutes before winding up his visit to the city during which he took part in the 75th anniversary celebrations of Tamil newspaper Dina Thanthi.

Karunanidhi's son MK Stalin, who was on a visit to Sharjah, cut short the trip and returned to receive Modi at Karunanidhi's residence. Kanimozhi, Karunanidhi's daughter, and Rajathi, Karunanidhi's second wife, and DMK General Secretary Durai Murugan were also present.

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-06 at 13.21.46
PM Narendra Modi is greeted by DMK Working President MK Stalin.

The Prime Minister was briefed about Karunanidhi's health by his doctor. This is the first time Modi has met Karunanidhi at his residence.

Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundarajan told reporters that Modi invited Karunanidhi to his home in Delhi. Karunanidhi reciprocated with a smile, she said.

Karunanidhi has been off active politics for about a year now since age-related ailments have kept him home-bound.

The 10-minute meeting comes amid political turmoil in the state where the EPS-OPS faction of the ruling AIADMK is struggling to retain majority in the face of TTV Dinakaran’s defiance against stepping aside.

The BJP had helped broker peace between the E Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam camps earlier this year, but the combine has not yet been able to retrieve the party’s ‘two-leaves’ symbol which was frozen by the Election Commission.

The PM was in Chennai to attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Tamil daily Dina Thanthi, where he hailed the media as the fourth pillar of democracy.

“Today, newspapers do not just give news. They can also mould our thinking and open a window to the world. In a broader context, media is a means of transforming society. That is why we refer to the media as the fourth pillar of democracy,” he said at the event which was held in Madras University.

“The then British government was fearful of India’s vernacular press. It was to muzzle vernacular newspapers that the Vernacular Press Act was enacted in 1878. The role of newspapers published in regional languages remains as important today, as it was then,” the PM said.

Interestingly, in the audience was superstar Rajinikanth who has been hinting at a political plunge soon.

Modi’s one-day visit to the state comes a day before veteran actor Kamal Haasan is to make an “important political announcement” coinciding with his birthday.

(With IANS inputs)
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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