CHENNAI: Honouring the appeal of their leader, DMK cadre on Wednesday gifted party working president M K Stalin a large number of books besides a jallikattu bull, to mark his 65th birthday, at the party’s headquarters here at Anna Arivalayam.
Apart from party leaders and cadre, leaders of friendly parties, including Congress, queued up with books as gifts.
DMK functionary Sridharan, a former municipal chairman of Tiruvannamalai, gifted his leader a ‘mobile library’ with 65 books and a cheque for Rs 65,000.
Another partyman, Zahir Shaw, again from Tiruvannamalai, led a fighter bull close to the dais, to offer it to Stalin as thanksgiving for his ‘efforts’ to restore jallikattu. The bull was draped with a yellow shawl and party flag with its horns painted in party colours.
Stalin began the day with the usual cake cutting at his residence in Alwarpet in the company of his family members and top party leaders. He visited Anna Square to pay floral tributes to DMK founder Arignar Anna, and Periyar Thidal to honour rationalist leader, Periyar E V Ramasamy, before seeking blessings from his party’s general secretary K Anbazhagan. Stalin visited his ailing father, Karunanidhi, at Gopalapuram, sought blessings and presented him a book, party sources said.
Venkaiah, RaGa greet
Several leaders including Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy, Congress leaders E V K S Elangovan and Peter Alphonse, Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani, new IUML national president K M Kader Mohideen, VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan and KMDK general secretary E R Eswaran called on Stalin to greet him.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, TNCC president S Thirunavukkarasar, senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, actor Rajinikanth, and BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan were among those who greeted him over phone.
However, the cadre turnout was not as high as that for DMK president M Karunanidhi’s birthday celebrations, according to an insider. One reason could be Karunanidhi’s latent warmth as against the lack of it from Stalin, a senior DMK leader said.