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‘Just need 6X6 ft land’: Why DMK wants M Karunanidhi buried at Marina Beach

The DMK, Tamil Nadu’s chief opposition party, wants its leader M Karunanidhi buried within the Anna memorial or Anna samadhi, where his mentor, Annadurai, is buried. Karunanidhi died on Tuesday at the age of 94.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2018 15:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
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DMK party supporters gather to pay respects to the remains of M Karunanidhi at Rajaji hall in Chennai on August 8.(AFP Photo)

When it comes to Dravidian politics, the Marina beach in Chennai is not an ordinary cemetery but the final resting place of iconic politicians. Three former chief ministers are buried there - CN Annadurai, MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, who died last year.

The DMK, Tamil Nadu’s chief opposition party, wants its leader M Karunanidhi buried within the Anna memorial or Anna samadhi, where his mentor, Annadurai, is buried. Karunanidhi died on Tuesday at the age of 94.

In the court hearing on Wednesday, DMK said, “All we need is 6X6 foot land for a tall leader, nothing else.”

Last year, the ruling AIADMK circumvented a ban on construction within 500 metres from the water front along the beach by burying J Jayalalithaa in an existing memorial. That of her mentor, MG Ramachandran or MGR.

The DMK insists that the same yardstick should be followed for Karunanidhi’s burial. On Tuesday, the Tamil Nadu government led by chief minister E Palaniswamy of the AIADMK, had rejected the DMK’s request for permission to bury Karunanidhi, saying it was “unable to allot space at Marina beach owing to several pending cases in the Madras High Court and legal complications.”

The state government also cited rules of the Coastal Regulation Zone Act, saying two acres land would be allotted for Karunanidhi’s burial near Gandhi Mandapam, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. Other former chief ministers including C Rajagopalachari, also known as Rajaji, and K Kamaraj are buried at the Gandhi Mandapam.

The three leaders buried at the Marina beach all died in office. Karunanidhi, a five-time chief minister was in the opposition when he died. The court battle hours after the DMK chief died underscores a deep and bitter rivalry between the AIADMk and the DMK.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 10:05 IST