The opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu on Thursday claimed that the “treacherous” state government denied land for former chief minister M Karunanidhi’s burial on the Marina beachfront due to “vendetta”, PTI reported. The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has denied the charges.
In a letter to his party cadres, DMK working president MK Stalin said he requested for space as Karunanidhi wished to be laid to rest next to his mentor and party founder CN Annadurai.
Stalin said he even met Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to personally put forth the request. “But the treacherous AIADMK government denied space due to vendetta and the conspiracy of those controlling them,” said Stalin.
On Wednesday, the Madras High Court accepted the DMK’s plea for a burial spot at Marina for the five-time chief minister, who died the day before of age-related ailments at the age of 94. The DMK had moved the court after the state government denied a site for his burial at the beach.
Stalin described the court’s verdict as a “final gift” to Karunanidhi.
The ruling party, however, claimed the government turned down the request due to “legal tangles”. State fisheries minister D Jayakumar even listed the various steps taken by his government to ensure “a respectable” farewell. He said that after Karunanidhi’s death, the government declared a holiday, permitted his body to lay in state at Rajaji Hall, provided police security and ensured state honours, among other things.
“Due to the legal tangles following five pending court cases and that they should not create last minute hurdles, the government came forward to offer space near the memorials of former Chief Ministers C Rajagopalachari and K Kamaraj,” said Jayakumar. “Where is the vendetta here?”
Several citizens had earlier filed cases against the construction of memorials on Marina. Jayakumar claimed the cases were filed only by those “who wanted to remove the Jayalalithaa memorial there”.
The minister also claimed that when Karunanidhi was chief minister, he had rejected pleas for construction of memorials for former chief ministers Kamaraj and VN Janaki at the Marina on the grounds that they were not serving chief ministers when they died.