Chennai, Sep 13 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Saturday gifted Rs.1.8 million from his personal wealth to 90 movie technicians who had been his colleagues during his time in tinsel town.
The money had originally been paid to Karunanidhi as his fee for penning the story and dialogues of Tamil film 'Uliyin Osai' (Sounds of Chisels).
The largesse was distributed as part of the birth centenary celebrations of former chief minister and DMK founder C.N. Annadurai.
Tamilians should refer to Annadurai as south India's Gandhi, Karunanidhi said while speaking on the occassion
He also used the opportunity to take a dig at his film industry and political adversary Vijaykanth.
'My young friend has questioned the logic behind my government's selling rice at Re.1 per kg while salt is being sold at Rs.5 for the same measure. Since Vijaykanth is an affluent person, he can consume salt instead of rice,' Karunanidhi quipped.
Several film personalities including actress Khushboo, directors Bharti Raja and Ramanarayanan paid glowing tributes to the chief minister.
Karunanidhi owes his political popularity largely due to his 64-year-long film career that began in 1944.
He has made several munificent gestures to the industry that has spawned the present political scenario in Tamil Nadu that include the ruling DMK, the main opposition AIADMK and at least three smaller parties led by actors-turned-politicians.
Significantly, his critics have blamed Karunanidhi for spending more time at film functions than attending to needs of the state's administration, a charge denied at some length by the chief minister.