Like Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi deserves to be given space on Marina Beach: Rahul

Like Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi deserves to be given space on Marina Beach: Rahul

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said the DMK leader was one of the leading and longstanding politicians of our country who left a mark of his own during his long public life of about 80 years including 56 years as member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

Mr Karunanidhi was a successful film screenwriter, penning multiple hit movies, before moving to politics.

He was elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 12 times.

Karunanidhi, who wrote scripts for Tamil cinema before entering politics, faced allegations of corruption and nepotism. He went on to become the CM of Tamil Nadu five times.

Known as a charismatic leader and fiery orator, Mr Karunanidhi led his party in the elections in Tamil Nadu in 2016 when he was 91. Mr Karunanidhi's DMK swept the election, riding a wave of anti-incumbency. As the news of M Karunanidhi's death broke, hundreds of distraught Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) workers crowded outside the Hospital and even more from other parts of the state made their way to the capital to pay their respects to the late leader. He was elevated as the chief minister following Annadurai's death in 1969. The state government has presently allotted a place near Gandhi Mandapam for DMK patriarch Karunanidhi's burial.

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However, the astute caliber of Karunanidhi helped him outwit Neduncheziyan.

Karunanidhi's family has also been mired in controversies regarding nepotism. DMK cadres turned violent after the state government led by AIADMK said no to allot the land for at the Marina Beach. It urged the Centre to make "immediate changes in the Constitution of India to establish a truly federal set-up with full state autonomy".

Former chief minister M.G. Ramachandran and his protégé J. Jayalalithaa were buried at the Marina beach and memorials to them were erected there.

"However, after the 1990s when the DMK started talking about state rights instead of their initial state autonomy, things got diluted", he said.

That art and politics blended seamlessly in Karunanidhi was manifest from the sobriquets of "Thalaivar" (The Leader) and "Kalaignar" (The Artist) he earned from ardent followers.

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