Row erupts over burial of Karunanidhi at Marina Beach

Chennai, Aug 7 (IANS) A major controversy erupted on Tuesday night after the Tamil Nadu government declined DMK’s request to allow space for burying the mortal remains of former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi near party founder C.N. Annadurai’s memorial at the Marina Beach.

The party filed an urgent petition before acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court Kuluvadi Ramesh to press for a burial place on the Marina.

DMK workers resorted to violence after news broke out that Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan had declined the request due to legal issues.

The police had to use force to control the cadres even as Karunanidhi’s body was shifted to his Gopalapuram residence.

According to Vaidyanathan, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said two acres of land would be allotted for Karunanidhi’s burial near Gandhi Mandapam on Sardar Patel Road which already houses memorials for K. Kamaraj and others.

Earlier, family members of Karunanidhi led by DMK working President M.K. Stalin and party officials met Palaniswami and sought space near Annadurai’s memorial for burying Karunanidhi’s body.

The government decision drew flak from opposition leaders including MDMK’s Vaiko, DMDK’s Vijayakanth and PMK’s S. Ramadoss, who favored a memorial on the Marina Beach. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and the CPI(M) also joined the chorus.

Ramadoss urged the ruling party not to indulge in politics in this matter, saying the reason stated by the government is not acceptable.

Ramadoss said even when AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa was buried at the Marina Beach there were court cases pending. Her body was buried at the Marina Beach within the memorial of AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran.

He said Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for 19 years and his last rites should be done in a decent manner.

The mortal remains of AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran and his successor Jayalalithaa are buried near Annadurai’s memorial on the Marina Beach.

A five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi died after battling age-related ailments at Kauvery Hospital on Tuesday evening.