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Feud between Karunanidhi, Marans reaches point of no return

November 21, 2008 18:16 IST

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The already strained relations between the Maran family and that of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday reached a point of no return, with the former joining issue with the latter over charges that they had turned against him.

After Karunanidhi issued an emotional statement in the Party Organ Murasoli accusing his grand nephews and the late Union minister Murasoli Maran's sons, former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran, of turning against him and creating a wedge in the family, Dayanidhi, in a hurriedly convened press conference, regretted that the chief minister himself had levelled serious charges against them after he was misled by someone. 

Stating that they had been maintaining silence for the last one and a half years unwilling to wash dirty linen in public, Dayanidhi said they were forced to explain their stand as the issue had become such a farce.

He said his elder brother Kalanidhi had sent a detailed 12-page letter to Karunanidhi giving a point-by-point reply to the charges levelled against them.

Releasing a copy of the letter, which addressed Mr Karunanidhi as 'thatha' (grandfather), to the media, Dayanidhi said the letter was not a rejoinder or a counter to the chief minister's article but it was a letter of explanation from the Maran family.

Alleging that Karunanidhi had levelled the charges based on false information given by his coterie, Kalanidhi, in his letter, asserted that they had never tried to cause disrepute to the DMK and the first family after the death of his father, whom the chief minister described as his conscience.

On the contentious issue of Dinakaran publishing surveys about the best performing Union minister and the political heir apparent to Karunanidhi, he said the survey regarding the performance of Union ministers was conducted by a firm of international repute and published in various English dailies.

When this was brought to Karunanidhi's notice, he congratulated Dayanidhi, who had secured the distinction of being the best performing minister in the survey, and said the Tamil translation be published in Murasoli.

When Dinakaran published a similar survey, a political colour was given and the Marans were accused of creating a wedge in the party.

''Similarly, when the survey projected Stalin as the political heir of Karunanidhi, violence broke out in Madurai [Images], with some people attacking State Transport Corporation buses. 

''It was at this time that someone called from Chennai and suggested that instead of attacking the buses, they could target the Dinakaran office,'' Kalanidhi said.

Stating that Karunanidhi was aware of how far it was true, Kalanidhi said the attack resulted in the death of three people.

Kalanidhi said, ''When the survey gave the top slot for Stalin, who had toiled for the party for several years and had even been detained under MISA, we thought Karunanidhi would be happy about it.''

''But we were accused as if we had committed a major crime,'' he said, adding that for the survey published in Dinakaran, Dayanidhi has become a victim, which was totally unjustified.

''If Karunanidhi wanted to replace Dayanidhi with someone else in the Union cabinet, the latter would have offered his resignation on his own. Instead, he was projected as an accused and the DMK's administrative committee, without even seeking any clarification, had taken action against him,'' Kalanidhi said. 

The committee had neither passed a resolution condemning the attack on Dinakaran, nor condoled the death of three people in the incident, he recalled.

Even after being shown the door, Dayanidhi Maran refrained from making any statement against the DMK leadership and maintained dignity.

Kalanidhi said it was after the publication of the survey that they faced attacks from all sides and attempts were made to crush the Sun TV [Get Quote] network. 

''Many of the incidents were either not brought to your (Karunanidhi's) notice or you are given false information,'' he added.

He said when Kalaignar TV was launched, it had taken in its fold about 250 employees of Sun TV in one go. ''Even if they had come on their own as claimed by Kalaignar TV, how could it be justifiable,'' he asked.

After this Sun TV connections were snapped in many parts of the state, to boost the image of Kalaignar TV. In Madurai, Sun TV was blacked out. ''But with the support of the people of Tamil Nadu, it continued to be the number one channel,'' he added.

Refuting Karunanidhi's charge that they were asked to vacate the Sun TV office from DMK headquarters 'Anna Arivalayam' in Chennai because they had launched a tirade against Union Minister A Raja and state minister Arcot N Veerasamy, Kalanidhi said they were asked to vacate in order to accommodate Kalaignar TV. 

''Moreover, the issue relating to Raja on the allocation of spectrum licence and Veerasamy for the power cuts came up only after they had vacated the premises,'' he said, adding that while vacating the premises, it was given in a pucca condition.

PTI adds: Ruling out any rapprochement with his estranged grand nephews the Maran brothers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday charged them with not only attempts to create a division among his family members but also coming out with 'news against partymen' like Union Minister A Raja, among others.

In an article published in the DMK party mouthpiece Murasoli, he said, "I can tolerate any disputes they wanted to create in my family but how can I do so when they continuously indulge in blaming my government and my party?"

Indicating his younger son M K Stalin would be his political heir, Karunanidhi said the Maran brothers-owned Dinakaran had published a survey (last year) which put Stalin ahead of his first son M K Azhagiri and his daughter Kanimozhi when they did not even make any attempt or announce their intention to be his political heir.

This was an attempt to "create a feeling of intense dislike" among his children, he said. "I did not even think that these attempts were pre-planned."

Karunanidhi said the same paper published another survey to show then Union minister Dayanidhi, younger of the Maran brothers, as the most efficient Union minister from Tamil Nadu, leaving the most experienced P Chidambaram (Congress) to second spot, T R Baalu (DMK) to the third spot and Dr Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK) to the last place.

"Is it necessary for such a survey when the Union cabinet had representations from two or three parties from the state," he asked.

"I angrily told Kalanidhi Maran and Dayanidhi Maran to stop publication of the series of the surveys," Karunanidhi said. But they ignored him and the "survey on my political successor was published," he said.

"While the earlier survey had created confusion among friendly parties, the political survey was an attempt to create trouble in my family," he said, adding the survey had angered Azhagiri's supporters, leading to violence in front of the Dinakaran office in Madurai.

Tracing the history of the dispute between his family and the Marans, Karunanidhi said after the death of Union minister and his nephew Murasoli Maran, shares held by his family in the Sun TV group were "taken in a hurry" by the Maran brothers.

"Our family got Rs 100 crore which was shared among my family members. Where was the need for such a hurried partition? What was the profit of Sun TV then?'' he asked.

When his family members did not come forward to accept the settlement, he prevailed upon them to avoid any hatred between the two families, he said.

The last straw that broke the camel's back was the condition of the office premises vacated by Sun TV, which was located in the DMK headquarters building.


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