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Lord Ram is an imaginary character: Karunanidhi
September 15, 2007 11:16 IST
Last Updated: September 15, 2007 22:54 IST
Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday cautioned the Centre against paying heed to "religious fundamentalist forces" on the Ram Sethu issue. The Centre should not bow to such pressure and give up the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, Karunanidhi said in Yercadu on Saturday.
Quoting former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said Ramayana was a story based on the fight between Aryan and Dravidian races.
"Lord Ram is an imaginary character and Ram Sethu is not a man-made bridge. The Centre should not do anything to disturb the Sethusamudram project," he said.
Asked whether he had differences with the Centre on the project, he said, "Our differences are only with the religious fundamentalist forces and not with the Centre".
Speaking about the fresh affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court on the Ram Sethu issue, he said there was nothing wrong if the fresh one was filed to abide by the directions of the court.
"It only shows that the government is not adamant on the issue. But giving up the project on some pretext is not acceptable to us," he said. However, Karunandihi declined to comment on the Left parties' opinion that the Centre should not have mentioned Lord Ram in the first affidavit.
On the possibility of an imminent mid-term poll, Karunanidhi said, "I don't know."
He said his party wanted the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led Democratic Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu to be intact. The chief minister added that there were attempts to break the alliance but they won't be succesfull.
Elaborating on the comment he made on Friday, expressing his desire to retire, Karunanidhi said that one should note that he was speaking at a conference of retired government employees.
"I only appreciated their enthusiasm and said that I too would get such enthusiasm once I retire. There is nothing more to it," he said.