‘Lead Us’ DMK leaders tell Stalin at the party’s executive meet

M Karunanidhi’s younger son MK Stalin paid a rich tribute to his father at a key meeting of the DMK in Chennai on Tuesday. Though there was speculation that Stalin would be elevated as the party president at Tuesday’s meet, no such decision was taken.

Many DMK leaders, however, called for him to take up the top job. “Working President, lead us as the party President,” DMK leader Duraimurugan said to cheers from party workers. The meeting took place a day after expelled DMK leader MK Alagiri, the eldest son of Karunanidhi claimed to have the support of loyalists of his father.

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Speaking for the first time since his father’s funeral, an emotional Stalin that the party has lost a leader but he has also lost a father.

Speaking on the controversy around the burial of the DMK chief, despite pleading with Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami for a burial spot at Marina beach as wished by Karunanidhi himself, Stalin accused the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra (AIADMK) of denying place at Marina Beach for the burial.

He said, “When Kalaignar was in his last stage I held Chief Minister’s hands and pleaded to fulfill his (Karunanidhi) last wish to be buried in Marina Beach but govt didn’t agree.”

Thanking the lawyers, he added, “I give the entire credit of the victory (burial of Karunanidhi at Marina Beach) to lawyers. If this wouldn’t have happened then surely I would have been the person to be buried along with our leader.” He appealed to all party workers to work towards Karunanidhi’s will.

A massive controversy had erupted over the final resting place of Karunanidhi after the Tamil Nadu government, citing legal hurdles, dismissed DMK’s request and offered a two-acre site at the Gandhi Mandapam.

Karunanidhi fondly referred as ‘Kalaignar’ and also a five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu, breathed his last in Chennai’s Kauvery hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 94.

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