Marans patch up with Karunanidhi

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family reunion: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi with his sons M.K. Azhagiri and M.K. Stalin and Maran brothers, at his residence in Chennai on Monday.
family reunion: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi with his sons M.K. Azhagiri and M.K. Stalin and Maran brothers, at his residence in Chennai on Monday.

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi met his estranged grandnephews Kalanithi Maran and Dayanidhi Maran at his Gopalapuram residence on Monday, after an agreement was clinched by three of his children, M.K. Azhagiri, M.K. Stalin and Selvi.

While the Maran brothers declined to comment on the development, Mr. Stalin told journalists that the Chief Minister would brief them at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters. Mr. Azhagiri went to the CIT Colony residence of the Chief Minister and briefed his wife Rajathi Ammal. Later, the Maran brothers also met her.

The meeting had the blessings of Dayalu Ammal, the mother of Mr. Stalin and Mr. Azhagiri. Mr. Karunanidhi credited the Madurai-based Mr. Azhagiri with bringing about the rapprochement. “He and Stalin worked together and achieved this,” Mr.Karunanidhi told a crowded press conference.

Mr. Azhagiri had a heart, so he had a change of heart, he replied, when asked whether his son had told him why he had changed his mind on the revival of the relationship with the Maran brothers. (Mr. Azhagiri and the Maran brothers were at the loggerheads ever since the office of Dinakaran, a newspaper owned by the Marans, was attacked in Madurai.)

Asked whether this was an instance of there being no permanent friends or enemies in politics, Mr. Karunanidhi said there was no politics in this.

Asked about the future of the television channels run by the Karunanidhi and Maran families, he said decisions would be taken after discussions. Asked if the Marans and his sons had given him an undertaking to stay united at least from now on, he said a question like this would strengthen their resolve to be together.

Asked whether Mr. Dayanidhi Maran would be taken back into the Union Ministry, Mr. Karunanidhi said this had not been discussed. On his feelings when he met the brothers, he said: “[My] eyes grew moist, and the heart was content.”

Ever since the break-up last May, Ms. Selvi and a few others were working towards a patch-up. Mr. Stalin favoured it, but Mr.Azhagiri was opposed to it.

Mr. Stalin was in constant touch with the Marans who, in his opinion, would add to the DMK’s strength in a crucial election. He met them at least once at a city hotel before Mr. Karunanidhi came out with an attack on his grandnephews in Murasoli on November 21.

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