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PM Modi meets ailing Karunanidhi; DMK says no politics discussed

The meeting at Karunanidhi's Gopalapuram residence during which Modi enquired about his health lasted about 20 minutes.

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

PM Narendra Modi meeting Karunanidhi (Photo: Twitter @narendramodi)
PM Narendra Modi meeting Karunanidhi (Photo: Twitter @narendramodi)

Prime Minister on Monday met ailing supremo M Karunanidhi, a former Tamil Nadu chief minister, even as the regional party said no was discussed during the meeting. This was the first meeting between the two leaders after Modi became the prime minister in May 2014. The meeting at Karunanidhi's Gopalapuram residence during which Modi enquired about his health lasted about 20 minutes. Modi sat next to wheelchair-bound Karunanidhi, 93, and held his hands. "Met former Tamil Nadu CM, Thiru M and enquired about his health.@kalaignar89," Modi wrote on his official Twitter page.

The opposition indicated that not much should be read of the meeting and that it was a "courtesy call." "The prime minister did not come with any political intentions nor did he talk He only enquired about Kalaignar's (Karunandhi) health," M K Stalin, who is Karunanidhi's son and working president, told reporters. Modi called on Karaunanidhi as he was a senior Dravidian leader and only came to enquire about his health, he said. The leader said only the media was thinking that there was a political angle to Monday's meeting. "Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) is a very senior leader in Indian Mr Modi has respect for Kalaignar," spokesperson T K S Elangovan said. He said in the past, when both were chief ministers, they used to greet each other during meetings in Delhi and this has been the practice. "This is a courtesy call," he said, adding, the meeting was only to greet the leader who is recuperating. Stalin welcomed Modi at the gate of the residence and honoured him with a red shawl. Stalin, also Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, in his official twitter page said that Modi during the meeting wished a "speedy and full recovery." "Hon'ble PM @narendramodi made a courtesy call on Dr @kalaignar89...

The PM enquired about his health & wished him a speedy & full recovery," Stalin wrote. During his visit, Modi was accompanied by state Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan and state BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan. Soundarrajan told reporters that the prime minister invited to visit Delhi. leaders, including Kanimozhi, who is the daughter of and a Rajya Sabha MP, were among those present during the meeting. Later, made a brief appearance outside and waved at his supporters who cheered him. Karunanidhi, who was taken ill in October 2016 due to a drug-induced allergy, was twice admitted to a private hospital in December last. He has been since confined to his house, but made one rare appearance on October 19 this year when he visited an exhibition here held to showcase the 75-year journey of DMK's mouthpiece, 'Murasoli. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had called on the nonagenarian patriarch at his residence in December, 2016.

First Published: Tue, November 07 2017. 10:05 IST