Blowing hot and cold, Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam President M Karunanidhi on Wednesday extended an olive branch to the Congress offering to "forgive" and support it after the elections.
Launching his elections campaign in the city, the 89 year-old DMK supremo first mounted a sharp attack against Congress with which his party had severed ties last year and refused to renew the alliance for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls.
"They were more inclined to save their government but showed no gratitude," he said in an apparent reference to the problems faced by his daughter, Kanimozhi, and former Telecom minister A Raja, who were jailed in a case relating to 2G scam.
But suddenly he softened his tone when he said, "If the Congressmen express regret and get back to their secular credentials--DMK will support them--not in terms of votes--but to change the evils that had gripped them, and ready to fogive them."
The DMK patriarch predicted doomsday for Congress in Tamil Nadu in this election, saying it had hit an 'abysmal low' not only in this state but elsewhere too.
"To lead a good life, you have to have gratitude. Congress never realised who gave them a helping hand in the past and gave so many troubles to DMK and its members and they are paying for it now," Karunanidhi who advanced his electioneering by about two weeks, told a well-attended gathering in the city.
Karunanidhi's campaign on Wednesday saw him seeking electorate's support in three constituencies-- North Chennai, South Chennai and Central Chennai, where his grandnephew Dayanidhi Maran is contesting for the third time.
'Principles Not Children Are Important'
Dwelling on the fissures witnessed in the party following the defiant attitude of his son M K Alagiri, whom he expelled from the party, Karunanidhi warning that indiscipline in DMK ranks will not be tolerated, said he will not forgive his son.
"Anyone who lacks gratitude--brother or wife or son or anyone, DMK will not forgive; won't forget their mistakes. For me principles are important, not children," he said.
In a significant development, Alagiri who continued to sulk over his expulsion called on his ailing mother Dayalu Ammal on Wednesday at Karunanidhi's Gopalapuram residence.
His father was away launching the party's election campaign when his son visited the house.