A controversy erupted on Tuesday after the Tamil Nadu government turned down DMK’s request to allot space for former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s burial near party founder CN Annadurai’s memorial at the iconic Marina Beach. Later, DMK moved the Madras High Court on the issue and sought an urgent hearing. Madras High Court acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh has agreed to hear the DMK petition at 10:30 pm.
Instead of Marina Beach, which houses the memorials of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and former CM J Jayalalitha, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said two acres of land would be allotted for Karunanidhi’s burial near Gandhi Mandapam on Sardar Patel Road, near the memorials of former chief ministers C Rajagopalachari and K Kamraj.
Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan has reasoned that there were several cases pending in the Madras High Court over the burial of leaders at the Marina Beach and it was in contravention to Coastal Regulation Rules. 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.
As word spread that the government rejected DMK’s request for Karunanidhi’s burial at Marina, violence broke out outside Kauvery Hospital as party cadres clashed with police, who resorted to lathi charge to bring the situation under control.
DMK working president M K Stalin appealed to cadres to remain calm and to follow discipline in “this hour of grief”. “I appeal to party office bearers to ensure that the cadres disperse in a peaceful manner”, he said. Stalin asked the cadres not to indulge in any activity that would bring a bad name to the deceased leader and not to damage public property.
Earlier in the day, family members of Karunanidhi, led by DMK working president MK Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi, met Palaniswami and sought space near Annadurai’s memorial for burying Karunanidhi’s body. DMK patriarch and five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi breathed his last at the Kauvery hospital in Chennai on Tuesday after an 11-day battle with deteriorating health. He was 94.