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`Sigaram' awards presented

Special Correspondent

15th anniversary ofIndia Today'sTamil edition



HONOURED: Winners of the 15th Sigaram Award of India Today in Chennai on Thursday. — Photo: M. Vedhan

CHENNAI: Politicians from different parties and hailing from Tamil Nadu, were presented the India Today 15 Sigaram awards here on Thursday.

The awards were instituted to mark the 15th anniversary of the magazine's Tamil edition. They were given to fifteen leaders for having influenced public life and for having the potential to bring about changes.

Among the recipients were M.K. Stalin, former Chennai Mayor, Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister for Communications, both from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, G.K. Vasan, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president, and E.V.K. S. Elangovan, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, ( Congress). C.P. Radhakrishnan and H. Raja, president and general secretary of the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, C. Mahendran, assistant secretary of the Communist Party of India, P. Mohan and K. Balabharathi, both from the CPI (Marxist) and representing the Madurai Lok Sabha seat and Dindigul Assembly constituency respectively, Thol. Thiurmavalavan, Dalit Panthers leader, and M.H. Jawahirullah, president, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam were the other awardees.

Union Health Minister R. Anbumani (Pattali Makkal Katchi) who was one of the awardees, could not attend the function due to official work in Delhi. Party president G.K. Mani received the award on his behalf.

D. Jayakumar and Nainar Nagenthran, Ministers in the State Government representing the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, could also not make it.

N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu , Manoj Kumar Sonthalia, Managing Director of the New Indian Express group, Kalanidhi Maran, Managing Director of the Sun TV network, and Prabhu Chawla, Editor-in-Chief of India Today and the Editorial Director of the India Today group of publications, distributed the awards.

Mr. Chawla said the awards were earlier given to persons from the fields of cinema and business.

After the late K. Kamaraj, leaders from Tamil Nadu restricted themselves to the State and did not aspire to become national leaders. "Why is there no second Kamaraj," he asked.

Mr. Elangovan said there could be no second Kamaraj just like there could not be any more Gandhis or Nehrus. This was because of the uniqueness of the late leader.

Mr. Dayanidhi Maran said DMK president M. Karunanidhi had been playing an important role in the making of Presidents and Prime Ministers since 1967. "To serve the nation, he [Mr Karunanidhi] does not have to sit in Delhi. He has been doing it by remaining here." Mr. Radhakrishnan said the State would produce many more Kamaraj's.

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