DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi will have a memorial site at Chennai’s Marina Beach after the Madras High Court’s order on Wednesday. The Tamil Nadu government had earlier refused to allot land over which the DMK had to move the Madras High Court. A bench comprising of 2 judges sat around midnight at the home of acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh to hear petitions.
The government had offered a 2-acre plot near Gandhi Mandapam, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, as a burial site. “That cannot be termed as a decent burial. Those buried there have ideologies different from the Dravidian movement,” the DMK argued in court.
The only 2 Tamil Nadu chief ministers have memorials at Marina beach were CN Annadurai, who founded the DMK and MG Ramachandran, who launched the AIADMK.
However, after J Jayalalithaa died as chief minister in 2016, her AIADMK circumvented the ban on construction within 500 metres from the waterfront and built a memorial at Marina beach.
The DMK argued in the court that the same can’t be done for Kalaignar. However, DMK lawyers argued that he should be buried next to his mentor, Anna.
When the hearing started on Tuesday night, Chief Justice asked the Tamil Nadu government to articulate their defence as soon as possible. According to news agency PTI, the court observed that every minute of delay may cause problems to the government and asked if it was prepared to handle it.
Thousands have flocked to pay respect to Kalaignar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid homage to M Karunanidhi and had a brief interaction with MK Stalin and Kanimozhi. A host of other leaders, chief ministers, and several others from across the country are heading to Chennai to pay their respects to Karunanidhi.