Pranab sets at rest speculation on alliance

Shortly after witnessing one alliance, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee sought to strengthen another, at the wedding of Durai Dayanidhi, grandson of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and son of Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, who tied the knot to Anusha, on Tamukkam Grounds here on Thursday.
Mr. Mukherjee said the United Progressive Alliance, had completed six-and-a-half years and would complete the remaining three-and-a-half years at the Centre in the present combination successfully. “We have understood each other well in the past and continue to work for the betterment of the country in all spheres,” he said.
Lauding the crucial role played by Mr. Karunanidhi in the UPA on several occasions, the senior Congress leader said, “We are together,” setting at rest speculations over the alliance.
Expressing happiness over the presence of a large gathering from far and near, Mr. Karunanidhi said the occasion (marriage of his grandson in Madurai) helped to demonstrate the party's unity and strength, which was witnessed by two key Congress members – Mr. Mukherjee and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram – at this crucial hour.
Mr. Chidambaram addressed Mr. Karunanidhi as the leader of “our alliance” in Tamil Nadu.
The DMK leader said he practised Periyar's ideology not only in the party but also in his family.
The ‘self-respect marriage,' used to be witnessed by a few hundreds of people in those days, was being conducted today in the presence of several thousands. “It looked like a Chitirai thiruvizha,” he said.
Mr. Karunanidhi also touched upon his passion for Tamil, which, he said, was reflected in the names of his children and grandchildren. He had a word of appreciation for his Madurai-based son Mr. Alagiri and hoped he would do well for the historic city and the people in this part of the State.
Actor Rajinikanth said Mr. Karunanidhi had two key assets: the DMK, and Mr. Alagiri and Mr. Stalin.