On Tuesday afternoon, as hundreds of cadres waited outside the Kauvery hospital in Chennai, Karunanidhi's sons MK Stalin and MK Alagiri, daughter Kanimozhi and senior leaders of the DMK party met Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami at his residence on Greenways Road.
They had one request: that Kalaignar should be laid to rest, and his memorial built next to his mentor Anna's samadhi at the Anna square on Marina beach. But the Chief Minister did not agree.
His reasons were varied. No former Chief Minister had been buried at Anna square, only sitting Chief Ministers including Annadurai, MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa had memorials there. He also said that memorials for former Chief Ministers like K Kamaraj and Rajaji had been built at the Gandhi Mandapam in Guindy. Though the CM offered the place, DMK wanted Karunanidhi's memorial next to the other Dravidian icons.
The Chief Minister also raised the issue that there were at least three Public Interest Litigations before the Madras High Court which said that building memorials at Marina were against the Coastal Regulation Zone rules. Just before this meeting, the pleas in the court had been withdrawn, and the Madras HC has declared them as withdrawn. But the CM insisted that there could be legal problems, say sources in the DMK.
Many more meetings followed through the day. DMK leaders and the CM held talks with the Chief secretary. There were also meetings between the CM and PWD officials and other advisors.
However, at 7 pm, when TNM last checked with two family members, they confirmed that there was no word yet from the government on whether Kalaignar's memorial can be built at Anna square.
DMK principal secretary Duraimurugan told the media that the family requested that Karunanidhi's body be buried next to Annadurai's memorial. "The CM sent them back with just one word, "let's see." Following this, Stalin has sent a letter through me to the Chief Minister, making the same request. So far, he has not given a proper reply," he said.