In less than 3 hours after the death of Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi , AIADMK Government found itself in the midst of a massive controversy. The Tamil Nadu Government rejected DMK’s request for a burial of the Tamil politics stalwart at the Marina Beach.
Several DMK leaders and Karunanidhi’s children MK Stalin, MK Alagiri along with Kanimozhi paid a visit to the Chief Minister E Palaniswami requesting for Karunanidhi’s burial next to his mentor Annadurai’s memorial.
However the Chief Minister chose to go by the rule book, he reasoned that no former Chief Minister was buried along Marina Beach. While incumbent Chief Ministers Annadurai, M G Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa have memorials at Marina Beach, Former Chief Ministers K Kamaraj and Rajaji were buried in Gandhi Mandapam.
Also the other reason cited by AIADMK was that there were at least 7 petitions filed in the Madras High Court which were against constructing memorials and burial of dead bodies along the beach as they violated the rules of Coastal Regulation Zones.
While the Chief Minister is right in stating that the memorial could violate CRZ rules, the same diligence was not followed when ‘Amma’ Jayalalithaa passed away, laws were tweaked to ensure Jaya was buried at the Marina Beach.
Section 319(3) of Chennai City Municipality Cooperation Act was altered following which ‘eastern side of the MGR memorial’ became a burial ground. Many wondered if the same would happen this time around. But the AIADMK stuck to their stand, forcing DMK to seek justice via judicial means.
In what can only be described as an unprecedented move, DMK moved a petition forcing a two judge bench to hear the case at the Chief Justice’s residence.
This incident will most certainly have massive ramifications. This will lead to intense political battles between the two parties, this can also swing the public sympathy in the favour of DMK.
While AIADMK grapples to contain its flock, this avoidable controversy could embolden DMK leadership to unleash a political storm. May be showing magnanimity in this hour could have earned brownie points for EPS and OPS.