India Politics
Karunanidhi meets son Azhagiri to stem infighting
May 11, 2007 - 6:14:40 PM

Madurai/Chennai, May 11 - The Karunanidhi family Friday went into a huddle in an attempt to control the infighting and ensure that there is no misunderstanding between DMK Chief Minister K. Karunanidhi's two sons even as the Mayor of Madurai surrendered for alleged involvement in fomenting violence in a newspaper office that left three people dead.

Following statewide protests by the media, police have taken into custody at least 60 people on various counts of rioting and arson for Wednesday's violence. Among the arrested were Mayor Thenmozhi's husband Gopinath.

Friday Thenmozhi gave herself up in a magistrate's court and has been remanded to judicial custody, it is learnt. Thenmozhi and former mayor of Madurai Kulandaivelu both, held responsible for Wednesday's mayhem, surrendered Friday.

The Madurai office of Dinakaran was attacked allegedly by supporters of M.K. Azhagiri, the elder son of the chief minister, after it published a poll saying that M.K. Stalin, Karunanidhi's second son, was preferred as his political heir.The violence led to the death of three newspaper employees of the Dinakaran daily Wednesday.

The Dinkaran paper belongs to the Sun Group, owned by Dayanidhi-Kalanidhi Maran family.

Even as his followers are being taken into custody, Azhagiri arrived in Chennai from Madurai, ostensibly to attend a gala function that the DMK is hosting later Friday night to mark 50 years of its leader Karunanidhi being in the assembly.

Amid speculation whether union IT and Telecommunications Minister Dayanidhi Maran and Azhagiri would attend the celebrations, it is learnt Azhagiri's sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, and aunts have been mounting pressure on an extremely annoyed Karunanidhi to forgive both - Kalanidhi Maran, who runs Sun TV, and Azhagiri.

Dinakaran, in a police complaint, has accused Azhagiri of instigating his supporters against the paper, and is demanding his arrest.

The chief minister holds the home portfolio and the talk in the street is, 'If Karunanidhi is a statesman, police will arrest Azhagiri. If he is a politician he will ensure a patch-up among the different factions.'

Azhagiri supporters and several factions of the DMK want action against the Marans and that the party should recommend that Maran be dropped from the Manmohan Singh-union cabinet.

Celebrations for the DMK - one of India's oldest parties - has been marred by the Kalanidhi Maran-Azhagiri tiff that has cast shadows over the party's future.

DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, who made his political debut in 1957, holds the record for not losing a single of the 11 elections he has fought so far.

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