On Monday, a rather unusual event took place at the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee headquarters, Satyamurthy Bhavan, that led sections of party leaders and cadres expressing their unhappiness.

The party’s South Chennai district president Karate R. Thiagarajan and his followers turned up at the party headquarters in the afternoon with a portrait of late DMK president M. Karunanidhi and paid floral tributes to him on his 96th birth anniversary. This has ruffled feathers in the TNCC as the party top brass was unaware of it. But Mr. Thiagarajan defended his action. “What is wrong in it? It’s a way of paying tribute to a great leader. I was calling all the leaders in my party since morning. But most of them went to Anna Arivalayam to garland Kalaignar’s (Karunanidhi) statue. When parties want seats during alliance formation, you go to Arivalayam and ask them for seats, but when I bring Kalaignar’s photo to Satyamurthy Bhavan, it’s an issue,” he said.

He pointed out that then TNCC president Su. Thirunavukkarsar unveiled a portrait of former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran at Satyamurthi Bhavan.

“Nobody questioned him when he did that,” he said.

The former Deputy Mayor of Chennai said that it was because of the DMK’s support the Congress and the alliance won a massive victory in the recent Lok Sabha polls. “Also, whose name is there on Kalaignar’s statue at Arivalayam? Who inaugurated it? [AICC leader] Sonia Gandhi, right? Her name is there permanently on his statue, which is at the DMK headquarters. Isn’t that a big honour?” he asked.

TNCC president K.S. Alagiri said Mr. Thiagarajan did not take permission, but dismissed it as an act done “out of overenthusiasm”.


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