Karunanidhi government completes 4 years in TN
The DMK government, headed by M Karunanidhi, completed four years in office on Thursday amid tough challenges on the political and economic front. The patriarch, who weathered many storms in his long political career spanning over five decades, continues to remain the face and strength of the party. By his tactical moves and strategies, he has sought to defuse crisis and handle ticklish issues relating to his family, party, opposition and allies. No doubt, for the 2006 assembly poll, DMK retained the rainbow alliance forged at the time of 2004 Lok Sabha poll. But, for the first time, the party could not manage a comfortable win in the assembly polls. It got only 96 seats — short of 20 seats for a simple majority. Since then, DMK’s tally has improved to 100 after wins in the bypolls. The DMK front got 163 seats in the 234 house while AIADMK got 61 and its ally MDMK, six. In fact, in his first press meet after the poll results, Mr Karunanidhi himself referred to the significant victory scored by AIADMK in Chennai by winning more seats. Still, the DMK formed Government with the support of Congress (34 seats then), besides PMK, the two left parties and others. In the first three years, Karunanidhi had daunting tasks. He had a strong rival whose leader J Jayalalithaa kept on nailing his regime as a minority government and predicting its downfall any time. While DMK maintained a cordial tie with Congress high command, the state Congress was more demanding, with a section of its leaders and MLAs clamouring for sharing power and joining the government. After UP, Rahul Gandhi turned his attention on TN to strengthen the party by holding elections for Youth Congress. Karunanidhi faced a big challenge when there was a bitter family feud involving his elder son MK Azhagiri and sons of the late Murasoli Maran. This led to the exit of Dayanidhi Maran from the Union ministry and Karunanidhi’s family launching Kalaignar TV channel to counter Sun TV.