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No birthday celebrations for Karunanidhi

India: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi will not celebrate his 85th birthday on June 3 due to the prevailing uncertainty over his dream plan the Sethusamudram project as well as the menace of terrorism threatening the country.

"A project endorsed as the greatest benefit to Tamil Nadu by late leaders like Dravidar Kazhagam founder Periyar (E V Ramasamy) and former chief ministers C N Annadurai and K Kamaraj is hanging," he said in a statement.

An air of uncertainty hangs over the Rs 2400 crore Sethusamudram project aimed at linking Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by dredging a 83-km-long deep water channel after the May 8 Supreme Court judgement.

In its judgement, the apex court had asked the Centre to explore the possibility of an alternative alignment or any other route for the project without damaging the Ramar Sethu, the mythological bridge believed to have been built to enable Lord Ram to cross over to Lanka to rescue wife Sita from Ravana.

"Terrorism is threatening the people. There is a dilemma whether to save the country or family from terrorism," he said without elaborating.

His announcement to cancel birthday celebrations came much before the Jaipur serial blasts.

On Tuesday, Karunanidhi, who normally celebrates his birthdays with day-long festivities and meeting supporters, appealed to all to refrain from calling on him on his 85th birthday. "I request you all to refrain from celebrating my birthday and visiting me. I will not be in Chennai for a whole week."

He said considering his mental and physical strain he should be relieved from the task of receiving visitors and accepting their greetings. PTI

 

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