The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Tuesday said actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth “lacks political maturity” after he criticised Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for being absent at Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi’s funeral, PTI reported.

At a condolence meeting hosted by South Indian Artistes Association for Karunanidhi on Monday, the Tamil superstar had said Palaniswami and his cabinet should have attended the ceremony. Rajinikanth had also referred to late AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and former party chief and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that he had represented the government at the ceremony on August 8. “It was a condolence meeting for a departed leader,” Jayakumar said. It is not a healthy thing to have spoken politics there... By speaking politics, it is evident that dear friend Rajinikanth lacks political maturity,” he told reporters.

Jayakumar accused Rajinikanth of using the occasion to transition from a “part-time politician to a full-time one”. “He used the demise of a leader to attract his [Karunanidhi] supporters to himself,” Jayakumar said.

The minister said the actor had behaved in a cowardly manner by referring to deceased AIADMK leaders. “MG Ramachandran created AIADMK after opposing M Karunanidhi,” Jayakumar said.

Rajinikanth had said the chief minister and his ministers were conspicuous by their absence at the funeral. “For his funeral, the whole of India came,” Rajinikanth said. “State honours were given by members of the three armed forces. He was given a 21-gun salute. But one thing remains. The governor, many chief ministers and Congress President Rahul Gandhi had come. Tamil Nadu’s first citizen, the chief minister, should not he have come? What will people think?”

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was on Wednesday laid to rest next to his mentor and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder CN Annadurai at Marina Beach in Chennai.

Jayakumar said the state government had paid its respects to the deceased DMK chief. “We could not allot land at Marina Beach due to legal complications. Then after the High Court order, we accepted it and gave the land and also all other help to the family.”