The DMK has officially sought the setting up of Kalaignar Memorial next to Anna Memorial where the body of Karunanidhi could be buried, deputy leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and senior leader of the party, Durai Murugan said in Chennai on August 7 soon after the death of MK. However, the Tamil Nadu Government has announced that such a memorial cannot be put up on the beach since there were petitions against setting up memorials on the beach and legal issues as well. Therefore, the government has said that it was ready to provide the space on a two-acre plot near Gandhi Mandapam on Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel Road in Guindy.
Meanwhile, a petition moved by the DMK was heard by acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Mr. Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh andJustice S.S. Sundar on August 7 night on the issue of the Kalaignar Memorial. The hearing was postponed to Wednesday morning to hear the government side give details on the legal obstacles, as mentioned in the government press release on Tuesday night.
The DMK side had pointed out that the objections were overcome in the case of the Jayalalithaa memorial by putting it up within the MGR memorial complex. At that time, a Chennai Corporation license issued by the commissioner had said that there were no objections on grounds of threats to public health. It had facilitated the construction of Jaya memorial on the site of MGR memorial.
A similar compromise is now being sought by DMK counsel to allot space within the Anna Memorial for the Kalaignar Memorial. DMK leaders including Stalin had met chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami at the CM’s residence on August 7 and requested that space be provided for a memorial next to Anna Samadhi. Later in the evening, DMK leader Durai Murugan handed over an official letter from the DMK to the CM reiterating the request but said there was no response from the State Government.
Shortly thereafter, the chief secretary to the Tamil Nadu Government, Girija Vaidyanathan, in a release, said the Government could not provide land next to Anna Samadhi due to pending cases and legal issues, and that a 2-acre site next to Gandhi Mandapam on Patel Road would be provided for the Karunanidhi memorial.
DMK cadres, expressing their unhappiness over the turn of events, held protests in front of the CM’s residence on Greenways Road in Chennai, and demanded that the Kalaignar Memorial come up on the Marina beach, next to Anna Samadhi.
A section of the DMK workers also protested in front of the Kauvery Hospital, removing the barricades put up by the police.
MDMK leader Vaiko condemned the decision of the TN government and said it was an insult to Tamil lovers, and wanted the government to review the decision and allow the Kalaignar Memorial next to Anna Samadhi.
National leaders like Congress president Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, opposition leaders in Tamil Nadu like Vaiko, Thirumavalavan, actor Rajinikanth have urged Tamil Nadu Government to provide space next to Anna memorial.