A controversy erupted tonight after the Tamil Nadu government rejected the opposition DMK’s demand for allotting space on the Marina beach for the burial of its leader M Karunanidhi and offered space near the memorials of former chief ministers C Rajagopalachari and K Kamraj.
DMK working president M K Stalin, recalling the long public life of Karunanidhi, had written to Chief Minister K Palaniswami seeking space inside the mausoleum complex of the departed leader’s mentor C N Annadurai at the Marina. Stalin had also met the chief minister hours before his father’s death.
A government statement said it was “unable to allot space at Marina beach owing to several pending cases in the Madras High Court and legal complications.” Hence, the government is prepared to allott a two-acre site on Sardar Patel Road near the memorials to Rajaji and Kamaraj, it said.
Some reports said the government was reluctant about allotting space for Karunanidhi’s burial at the Marina as he was not a sitting chief minister. Former chief minister M G Ramachandran and his protegee J Jayalalitha were buried at the Marina beach and memorials to them were erected there. Both were bitter foes of Karunanidhi in politics.
Karunanidhi’s predecessor Annadurai was also in office when he died. DMK cadres held impromptu protests and engaged in
sloganeering demanding a place for Karunanidhi’s burial at the Marina beach.