Two days after being elected president of the DMK, MK Stalin will host a memorial meeting for his late father M Karunanidhi in Chennai. Earlier, the buzz was over Amit Shah attending - he is finally not. Now the buzz is over Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar confirming attendance.
Mr Kumar had not attended the funeral of the DMK leader. Sources said he will be present in Chennai on Thursday. Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for shipping and former BJP chief, will represent his party.
Others on the list of confirmed guests include Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had gone to Chennai when Karunanidhi was critically ill, will be represented by party lawmaker Derek O'Brien.
The memorial meeting, titled "The Southern Sun - Meeting of National Political Leaders" will be held at the YMCA grounds,
where tributes will be paid to Karunanidhi, who died three weeks ago.
The DMK had earlier called for a meeting of opposition parties in Chennai for federal front talks ahead of 2019 general elections. Karunanidhi's death led to a change of plans. But all eyes are on signals that will come from the meeting hosted by DMK's new president.
Mr Stalin took charge of the party at its headquarters in Chennai this morning amid music, drumbeats and waving of party flags. In his address, the new chief said, ""My dream is to oppose who give a religious colour to everything... We will teach a lesson to the Narendra Modi government".
Calling today's political situation "a grave challenge", Mr Stalin said education, art, literature, religion have come under attack by "authoritative and communal forces".
Under the BJP, even the rights of state governments were being trampled upon and the Union government, he said, is "trying to destabilise judiciary, selection of governors" in "blow to the secular principles".
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