Months after the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, a statue of the late leader is to be unveiled at Anna Arivalayam, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagamâ€™s (DMK) headquarters in Chennai, on Sunday.
In the run up to the event, Karunanidhi's son and the newly elected party President MK Stalin has been extending invitations to political heavyweights in a show of opposition unity against the AIADMK government in the state and the BJP at the Centre.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who was personally invited by Stalin is set to attend, accompanied by her son and Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The statue unveiling ceremony is a pivotal opportunity for the grand anti-BJP alliance that has been in the making ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
A grand show of unity by leaders who have been opposed to the government of Prime Minister Modi is expected to send a strong message even as the election season rolls in.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who was instrumental in bringing the alliance together, is expected at the event along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy.
According to one report in The New Indian Express, the leaders will be attending a public meet at the YMCA grounds in Nandanam following the unveiling of the statue on Sunday, even as there is the likelihood of an overcast sky across the city.
With MK Stalin being increasingly vocal about the BJP and it's 'strong-arming' of autonomous institutions, several leaders arriving at his invitation is also a shot in the arm for the party that is yet to see electoral success under his leadership.
The DMK has also extended invitations to leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Janata Dal (Secular), Nationalist Congress Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Aam Admi Party.
This would be the party's second grand show this year. In August, a memorial meet for the late Karunanidhi witnessed several political leaders arrive in Chennai, calling upon Stalin to take up the mantle and carry forward his fatherâ€™s legacy.
According to reports, VCK chief Thol Thirumavazhavan and state leaders of national parties are also set to be in attendance. Actor and politician Rajinikanth may also attend.
M Karunanidhi passed away on August 7 at Kaveri Hospital in Chennai following a prolonged illness. He was 94.