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September 3, 2000
Krishna emulates Karunanidhi, will speak only in Kannada
Fakir Chand in Bangalore
The frequent interactions between Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna and his Tamil Nadu counterpart M Karunanidhi during the hostage crisis has made an unexpected impression on the Information Technology-savvy and urbane Krishna.
Perhaps, for the first time since he became chief minister, Krishna has begun answering queries from mediapersons only in Kannada irrespective of the language in which the question is addressed.
At the end of one press briefing, when a Doordarshan anchorperson asked for a quote in English, ostensibly for its national news channel, the chief minister took the opportunity to express his new-found love for Kannada. Since he was also fluent in it, he insisted on addressing the media only in Kannada.
"I have decided to speak only in Kannada hereafter," Krishna said. He referred to Karunanidhi's style of speaking only in Tamil, especially during his interaction with mediapersons.
Krishna said the press was free to translate whatever he said in Kannada into English or any other language as 'it is done in the case of Karunanidhi, who sticks to speaking only in Tamil'.
Everytime he has been to Madras in the recent past, Krishna noticed that Karunanidhi answered queries from journalists only in Tamil, and never even once in English, an aide of the chief minister said.
However, despite his best intentions and conscious attempts, Krishna had this tendency to reply in English, out of habit, before correcting himself when he was asked questions in English.
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