Karuna burial in Marina AIADMK’s alms to DMK: minister

Tamil Nadu’s Information Minister Kadambur Raju has triggered an ugly spat with archrival DMK by bragging that allocation of land at the Marina Beach for former chief minister M Karunanidhi’s burial was “AIADMK’s alms to the DMK.”

The comments triggered a political slugfest with the DMK taking strong objecting to the minister’s remarks and the BJP asking him to refrain from making comments about leaders who are no more.

“Karunanidhi was buried on the Marina Beach only after the High Court intervened and people who make derogatory and insulting remarks about the issue will never be forgiven by history,” DMK MLA J Anbazhagan said.

Raju, who was speaking at a public meeting organised on Dravidian legend C N Annadurai’s birth anniversary, began his speech by narrating how the late DMK founder would be “feeling intrigued” in his grave since Karunanidhi has been buried so close to him.

“Karunanidhi does not deserve to be buried near Annadurai and that is why our chief minister rightly refused him space at the Marina Beach, following late Amma’s footsteps. But they went to the court and got the allotment. We followed the order. But I am sure even Anna must be feeling sad now,” Raju said with a chuckle on his face.

“If he (Karunanidhi) was chief minister during his death, he would have automatically got space in Marina for his burial. But still we were magnanimous enough in allotting Rajaji Hall for public viewing of his body and it was me who signed the order. It is because of us, the AIADMK, Karunanidhi was buried in Marina and full military honours accorded to him. It was our alms for the DMK,” he said, even as the crowd cheered his speech.

The rivalry between the AIADMK and DMK – archrivals in Tamil Nadu’s polity – is legendary by now, but Raju’s comments have taken the sheen out of civility that was slowly being injected into politics in the state that has largely been personality-oriented till it was dominated by Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.

The new healthy trend of politics was ushered in by Opposition Leader M K Stalin who visited the Apollo Hospitals in 2016 when Jayalalithaa was admitted and later led a delegation and paid last respects to her when she died later that year. The AIADMK reciprocated the gesture with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and almost his entire Cabinet paying last respects to Karunanidhi when he died last month.

The AIADMK jumped to the defence of Raju with his colleague Revenue Minister R B Uthayakumar maintaining that the former was forced to speak on the issue since Karunanidhi’s son and DMK president M K Stalin was “politicising” the issue.

 

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Karuna burial in Marina AIADMK’s alms to DMK: minister

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