TIRUNELVELI: The announcement from Chief Minister M Karunanidhi that the new bus stand in Radhapuram be named ‘Perunthalaivar Kamaraj Bus Stand’ has evoked jubilation among Congressmen.
The announcement came after series of protests regarding the naming of the bus stand by various political parties. As Radhapuram didn’t have a bus terminus for many years, the village panchayat announced two decades ago that the one who donated land for the bus terminus would be allowed to christen it. DMK MLA and erstwhile Congressman Appavu had acquired 90 cents of land from Nithya Kalyani Amman temple out and expressed his wish to name the bus terminus after C M Karunanidhi’s parents Muthuvelar and Anjukam Ammal. Their statues were also erected within the premises. Some Congressmen staged a series of protests opposing the name. As the issue spawned into a controversy, the name was changed to ‘Radhapuram bus stand’.
Due to a failure to reach a conclusion, the name of the bus stand was removed a couple of days prior to its inauguration by Deputy CM Stalin in October 2009.
While Congress MLA Peter Alphonse demanded unveiling of the statues, his party’s Tirunelveli MP Rama Subbu wanted the bus stand named after K Kamaraj. But the local DMK unit went ahead with the unveiling, prompted by legislator M Appavoo despite a protest by local freedom fighter Sudalaimuthu.
Sudalaimuthu went on a fast demanding naming of the bus stand after Kamaraj and installation of statues of Kamaraj and his cabinet colleague P Kakkan within the premises. He ended his fast after a visit from Elangovan at the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital.
No further announcements were made in this regard even on July 15, Kamaraj’s birth day.