CHENNAI: The rare court appearance by DMK President M Karunanidhi today, just months ahead of Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, in connection with a defamation case filed by the AIADMK government is seen as a shot in the arm for the party by its cadres.
Some party leaders said it had "infused new blood" in the party which is looking to stage a comeback after back-to-back poor showing in the last assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
"He (Karunanidhi) has appeared in many cases. Today he appeared before (the Principal Sessions court) to tell the people what is going on," DMK Organising Secretary R S Bharathy told PTI.
However, the party chose not to link it with the coming polls and said their 'Thalaivar' (leader) was only trying to tell the people what was happening in the AIADMK rule. Bharathy was referring to a number of defamation cases filed against DMK and other political parties by the Jayalalithaa Government.
Asked if today's move was aimed at preparing the party workers for the polls, Bharathy replied in the negative and said that defamation cases had been filed by the government even against certain media houses.
Another leader, T R B Raja, the party's MLA from Mannargudi, also insisted that Karunanidhi's court appearance had nothing to do with elections, but however maintained it had "infused new blood", especially among the younger cadre. He said that it if a 92 year-old leader can do something like appearing before a court and sending a message to the party, then the many number of young workers can do anything constructively.
"This has got nothing to do with the polls. It proves that he can face anything, politically and legally. However, this has infused a new blood, especially to the many young party workers," he said.
Some other party workers also expressed enthusiasm following Karunanidhi's decision not to seek exemption and to appear in the court.
Earlier, the wheel-chair bound Karunanidhi had appeared before a local court in connection with a defamation case filed by the state government.
The DMK chief, when asked about the case, said "neither they nor we are aware of what is defamatory," in this instance.
The court had summoned him in connection with his article in party mouthpiece 'Murasoli' in November 2015, where he had quoted from a Tamil bi-weekly 'Ananda Vikatan' which had made a critical assessment of the J Jayalalithaa-led government,. When reporters asked him if he wanted other opposition parties, against whom similar cases are pending, to rally under him against the ruling AIADMK and whether he would invite them, he said "I don't want to compel them."
"It is for them whether they want to take any such decision. I will abide by that," he said.