Karunanidhi and MGR: A checkered friendship, and a lesson in civility and empathy | The News Minute
It was M Karunanidhi who recommended MGR for a key role in 'Manthiri chief minister in , Karunanidhi with the help of MGR manoeuvred his forums, their relationship in the assembly could have served as a model. Kalainr Karunanithi and MGR are close friends at their younger age. karunanithi recommended Did Jayalalitha had relationship with MGR?. Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran (17 January – 24 December ), popularly known M.G.R's first marriage was to Chitarikulam Bargavi, also known as Consequently, MGR was expelled from the party as per Karunanidhi's plan. the Prime Minister, M. G. Ramachandran extended unconditional support to the.
On screen, MGR never smoked or drank and always treated his women with respect. Superstar MGR was the harbinger of hope, warrior of the oppressed and messiah of the masses. He had sparkling eyes, till those trademark dark glasses hid them. There was at least one MGR manram fans club in every ward of a municipality. At the political level, too, there was enough space for a party like the ADMK. Inthe party stormed to power in Tamil Nadu. As the chief minister, too, MGR endeared himself to the people with humane gestures.
MGR is said to have instructed the police to go soft on bicycle riders and rickshawallahs, while booking erring drivers of cars. His noon-meal scheme was a trendsetter. It was not just for the school kids; even elderly people were given food. In fact, that was a tit-for-tat Indira Gandhi did to a similar action of the Janata Party government that came to power in For a party, till then riding a popularity wave, the action came as a catalyst to gather itself and emerge stronger.
MGR went campaigning in the election that ensued with a simple question to the people: What wrong did I do? It had lost every by-election and local body polls that happened since. People like Panruti Ramachandran, K Rajaram and Thirunavukarasu, who were close to MGR and who later helped Jayalalithaa nullify the splinter group headed by Janaki Ramachandran, were dropped after their utility was over.
Jayalalithaa, however, did not demolish the MGR legend in one stroke. So, there have been MGR images all over during election days. When MGR was campaigning for the DMK, his cap was carried atop campaign vehicles where the man could not physically be present.
There are enough indications that beneath the cloak of the symbiotic relationship between MGR and Jayalalithaa, all was not well. MGR was indeed impressed by the articulation of her reel-life heroine, and felt that she could contribute to his political growth. That is why he brought her into the party in and made her a member of the state high-level committee on noon meal scheme and later a Rajya Sabha member and the propaganda secretary of the party.
Jayalalithaa thought the huge crowds that gathered to express their sympathies with MGR had actually come to see her. She insisted that she be made the chief minister. He told me we could use her for the party, but should not allow her to rule.
She came and fought with MGR asking for deputy chief ministership and left in a huff. The party split into Janaki and Jaya factions and Janaki faction took over two weeks after MGR passed away, but the government was dismissed on January 30, Political thuggery too was at an all-time high as vengeance was wreaked upon DMK members for various slights, both real and perceived.
Jayalalithaa brought on her own downfall in in the form of a jaw-dropper of a wedding for her foster son V N Sudhakaran, a nephew of Sasikala's, to the granddaughter of cine actor Sivaji Ganesan.
Karunanidhi and MGR: Best of friends, worthy rivals - The Hindu
The pomp and show put on in Madras for the wedding disgusted the voters. Invoters turned their back on her. Karunanidhi was again in the seat of power. He then initiated a series of corruption cases against Jayalalithaa. One such case was the colour TV scam, wherein colour TV sets were allegedly bought at prices higher than the market price, with the Jayalalithaa government allegedly making Rs During this period, her residence in Poes Garden, Chennai, was raided and the DMK's propaganda channel, Sun TV, streamed live visuals of 30 kg of gold, including bangles, over wrist watches, 10, sarees and hundreds of pairs of footwear, amongst other dizzyingly expensive possessions.
It was also during the initial days of the Karunanidhi government that a disproportionate assets case was slapped on Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, Sasikala's sister-in-law Ilavarasi and nephew V N Sudhakaran.
This case would go on for close to two decades, ending in a 'guilty' verdict finally after Jayalalithaa's death inputting Sasikala and the others behind bars for four years. After the dust settled on the cases and the DMK government went about in earnest wooing industry to Tamil Nadu and focusing on development of the state, the people of Tamil Nadu, inonce again did an about-turn.
To Jayalalithaa's aid came a shimmering alliance: So much so that Karunanidhi, who was confident of being re-elected, was bitter when the results were announced. Sonia Gandhi and M Karunanidhi at a campaign rally during the general election. Just after midnight, a posse of policemen descended to arrest the Opposition leader on a case relating to public money being allegedly siphoned off in the building of flyovers in Chennai.
Visuals showed Karunanidhi falling, being shoved, picked up and pushed again by the police, evoking a wave of sympathy for the elderly man. Following pressure from the Centre, Jayalalithaa had no choice but to backtrack in the face of calls of 'Constitutional breakdown' in the state.
First, the Union ministers were let off, the charges against them dropped. Karunanidhi was then allowed out on bail on 'humanitarian grounds'. Jayalalithaa had had her revenge. But Karunanidhi won the war. Jayalalithaa went on to press her self-destruct button yet again as her tenure continued. Realising her monumental error, she reinstated them all in February Inshe also banned animal sacrifice, once again causing widespread indignation and protests across the state.
A few months later, she repealed the Act. But the damage was done. Bythe DMK had cobbled up a rainbow alliance ahead of the assembly polls.
Karunanidhi and MGR: Best of friends, worthy rivals
Despite the niggling resentment against Jayalalithaa for her earlier moves, the election was largely without a major issue or talking point.
But the genius politician in Karunanidhi struck. Free colour televisions for all those below the poverty line, he promised. Tamil Nadu brought him back to power as Jayalalithaa watched. Governance took a back seat. Jayalalithaa simply had to sit by and watch as Karunanidhi and his family and party men and women destroyed their own credibility and popularity in the state.
Inan alliance with 'Captain' Vijaykanth, a bright new player in the political arena, was locked in by Jayalalithaa. She swept the state as people vented their anger against the excesses of the DMK in the past five years. Despite little to no governance between andcash for votes played a huge role in