Chennai: DMK president M Karunanidhi on Thursday claimed he had been cordial to his arch rival and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa during their days in Tamil cinema but she had `returned the favour` by effecting the midnight arrest of him during her earlier rule from 2001-06.
Reminiscing their cinema careers, him as a script writer and Jayalalithaa as an actor, he said there was not much of a difference between the families of the two since both belonged to the film world.
"I knew her when she was in cinema field. I had then itself enquired about her cordially and appreciated her. But how did she return the favour. After she came to power she arrested me in the midnight and jailed me," he said at a public meeting here.
Karunanidhi was arrested in 2001 in connection with alleged irregularities in construction of flyovers during his previous regime.
The 90-year old DMK patriarch, however, said he was not bothered about such things but said he was more concerned that democracy was "suffering" in the state.
He was speaking at a meeting to condemn the suspension of DMK MLAs from the ongoing assembly session after they were evicted four times from the House for disrupting proceedings.
Karunanidhi, confined to wheel-chair, rued that the ruling AIADMK had not even provided him with a seat in the Assembly. He represents his native Thiruvarur in the Assembly.
He said all opposition parties must jointly work to uphold democracy against "authoritarianism".
He also exhorted the youth to actively participate in this process.