TIRUCHY: DMK working president M K Stalin on Friday accepted the honours given by priests of the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, but declined their invitation to enter the temple. Stalin, who arrived in the city on Thursday for the party’s minority wing meeting, visited Srirangam to solemnise marriages of two couples in a hall near the temple. Expecting that he would enter the temple and offer prayers, a large number of DMK cadre and media persons gathered at the main entrance of the temple around 7 am on Friday. But Stalin disappointed them and did not enter the temple.
He, however, accepted the honours from a group of priests who were waiting for his arrival. An elephant was also waiting along with a musical troupe. Stalin’s car stopped near the entrance and he got off to accept the honour from priests. He was presented with garlands, fruits and shawls. The elephant offered him a garland and Stalin fed it sugarcane and jaggery.
When the priests invited him to the temple, Stalin excused himself and got into his car. Even as Stalin was on his way, a few residents living in the vicinity of the temple accorded him Poorna Kumbham honours near the Vellai Gopuram. They also raised the land registration issue that has been haunting them for the past 10 years and sought his help.
He then proceeded towards the marriage hall, where he participated in the marriages of the two couples and a ear-piercing ceremony for two children. Speaking at the marriage function, Stalin slammed Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy for his suggestion that the provisions of Cauvery Water Management Authority should be discussed in Parliament.
He said, “A day before assuming office as Chief Minister of Karnataka, Kumaraswamy visited Srirangam and worshipped in the temple. At the time, he said people of both States would live as brothers and sisters.”
Taking a dig at Kumaraswamy for not keeping his word, Stalin said, “Kumaraswamy requires the blessings of the god in Tamil Nadu but he is concerned about the livelihoods of Tamil people.”