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The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (transl. Dravidian Progress Federation), also known by the initialism DMK, is a political party in India, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry.[3] Founded in 1949, it is a Dravidian party founded by C. N. Annadurai as a breakaway faction from the Dravidar Kazhagam (known as Justice Party until 1944) headed by Periyar E. V. Ramasamy.[4][5]

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
AbbreviationDMK
LeaderM. K. Stalin
PresidentM. K. Stalin
Secretary-GeneralProf K. Anbazhagan
Lok Sabha leaderT. R. Baalu
Rajya Sabha leaderTiruchi Siva
FounderC. N. Annadurai
Founded17 September 1949 (70 years ago) (1949-09-17)
Split fromDravidar Kazhagam
Preceded byJustice Party
HeadquartersAnna Arivalayam, 367/369 Anna Salai Teynampet , Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India– 600018
NewspaperMurasoli
The Rising Sun
Student wingDMK Student Wing
Youth wingDMK Youth Wing
Women's wingDMK Women Wing
Labour wingLabour Progressive Federation (LPF)
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[1]
Social democracy[1]
Populism[1]
Regionalism[1]
Social justice
Political positionCentre-left
Colours     Red
ECI StatusState Party[2]
AllianceNDA (1999–2004)
DPA (2014–2016)
UPA (2006–2013) (2016–present)
National convenerM. K. Stalin
Seats in Lok Sabha
24 / 40
(Currently 545 members)
Seats in Rajya Sabha
5 / 18
(Currently 242 members)
Seats in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
100 / 234
(currently 232 members)
Seats in Puducherry Legislative Assembly
3 / 30
(currently 30 members)
Election symbol
Risingsun surya.png
Party flag
Flag DMK.svg
Website
www.dmk.in

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is a secular party whose social democratic and Social justice platform is generally considered to be on the centre-left of Indian politics. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam' social policy is based upon the Dravidian principle of C. N. Annadurai and Periyar E. V. Ramasamy – the lifting up of all sections of society–which involves the improvement of the lives of economically underprivileged and socially marginalised people.[6][7][8]

DMK was headed by C. N. Annadurai from 1949–1969 until his death on 3 February 1969.[9] He served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (1967–1969).then DMK was headed by M. Karunanidhi from 1969 to until his death on 7 August 2018.[10] He also served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five terms.[11] at present, DMK is led by M. K. Stalin. He served as Deputy Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu from 29 May 2009 – 15 May 2011.[12]

DMK was the first party other than the Indian National Congress to win state-level elections with a clear majority on its own in any state in India. The head office of the party is called Anna Arivalayam, which is located at Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Following the 2019 general election, DMK is the Third largest party in the Lok Sabha with 24 seats.[13]

HistoryEdit

DMK FoundationEdit

The party, which derived from parent parties,

  • Justice Party ( South Indian Liberal Federation )
  • Dravidar Kazhagam
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Justice PartyEdit

DMK traces its roots to the South Indian Liberal Federation (Justice Party) formed in 1916, by P. Thyagaraya Chetty, Dr. P.T. Rajan, Dr. C. Natesa Mudaliar, Mr. T. M. Nair and a few others. The Justice Party, whose objectives included social equality and justice, came to power in the first General Elections to the Madras Presidency in 1920.[14] Communal division between Brahmins and non-Brahmins began in the presidency during the late-19th and early-20th century, mainly due to caste prejudices and disproportionate Brahminical representation in government jobs. The Justice Party's foundation marked the culmination of several efforts to establish an organisation to represent the non-Brahmins in Madras and is seen as the start of the Dravidian Movement.[15][16][17].

E. V. Ramasami (Periyar), a popular Tamil reformist leader of the time, had joined Indian National Congress in 1919, to oppose what he considered the Brahminic leadership of the party.[18] Periyar's experience at the Vaikom Satyagraha made him to start the Self-Respect Movement in 1926 which was rationalistic and "anti-Brahministic".[19] He quit Congress and in 1935, he joined the Justice Party.

In the 1937 elections, the Justice Party lost and the Indian National Congress under C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) came to power in Madras Presidency. Rajaji's introduction of Hindi as a compulsory subject in schools led to the anti-Hindi agitations, led by Periyar and his associates.[20]

Dravidar KazhagamEdit

In August 1944, Periyar created the 'Dravidar Kazhagham' out of the Justice Party and the Self-Respect Movement at the Salem Provincial Conference.[21] Dravidar Kazhagam, conceived as a movement and not a political party, insisted on an independent nation for Dravidians called Dravida Nadu consisting of areas that were covered under Madras Presidency.

The party at its inception retained the flag of the South Indian Liberal Federation which had a picture of a traditional type of balance signifying the idea of equality.[22] Its central theme was to remove the degraded status imposed on Dravidians, and to denote this, the party adopted a black flag with a red circle inside it, the black signifying their degradation and the red denoting the movement for upliftment.[23]

It opposed Brahminical social, political and ritual dominance, and aimed to form a separate country of Dravida Nadu, to include either all of South India or the predominantly Tamil-speaking regions.

Dravida Munnetra KazhagamEdit

Over the years, many disagreements arose between Periyar and his followers. In 1949, several of his followers led by C. N. Annaduraidecided to split from Dravidar Kazhagham, after an aged Periyar married a young woman Maniammai and appointed his young wife to act as his successor to lead the party, superseding senior party leaders. Until then E. V. K. Sampath, the nephew of Periyar, was considered his political heir.[24][25]

Annadurai, on 17 September 1949 along with

 
Robinson park in Royapuram in Chennai announced the formation of the DMK M. Karunanidhi, C. N. Annadurai, K. A. Mathiazhagan
  1. Kudanthai K.K.Neelamegam,
  2. V. R. Nedunchezhiyan,
  3. K. A. Mathiazhagan,
  4. N. V. Natarajan called '' Aimberum Thalaivargal '' (Great Five Leaders)

along with M. Karunanidhi then an emerging screenwriter and thousands of others in Robinson park in Royapuram in Chennai announced the formation of the DMK. The name of the party (DMK) was announced by Kudanthai Perunthagai. K. K. Neelamegam.

Early yearsEdit

Self respect movementEdit

DMK's Anti-Hindi agitationsEdit

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) which split from the Dravidar Kazhagam in 1949, inherited the anti-Hindi policies of its parent organisation. DMK's founder Annadurai had earlier participated in the anti-Hindi imposition agitations during 1938–40 and in the 1940s. In July 1953, the DMK launched an agitation for changing the name of a town from Kallakudi to Dalmiapuram. They claimed that the town's name (after Ramkrishna Dalmia) symbolised the exploitation of South India by the North.[26][27] On 15 July 1953, M. Karunanidhi (later Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) and other DMK members erased the Hindi name in Dalmiapuram railway station's name board and lay down on the tracks. In the altercation with the Police that followed the protests, two DMK members lost their lives and several others including Karunanidhi and Kannadhasan were arrested.[28]

In the 1950s DMK continued its anti-Hindi policies along with the secessionist demand for Dravida Nadu. On 28 January 1956, Annadurai along with Periyar and Rajaji signed a resolution passed by the Academy of Tamil Culture endorsing the continuation of English as the official language.[29][30] On 21 September 1957 the DMK convened an anti-Hindi Conference to protest against the imposition of Hindi. It observed 13 October 1957 as "anti-Hindi Day".[31][32] On 31 July 1960, another open air anti-Hindi conference was held at Kodambakkam, Madras.[33]

 
Swearing-in ceremony of C. N. Annadurai as chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

In November 1963, DMK dropped its secessionist demand in the wake of the Sino-Indian War and the passage of the anti-secessionist 16th Amendment to the Indian Constitution. But the anti-Hindi stance remained and hardened with the passage of Official Languages Act of 1963.[34] The DMK's view on Hindi's qualifications for official language status were reflected in Annadurai's response to the "numerical superiority of Hindi" argument: "If we had to accept the principle of numerical superiority while selecting our national bird, the choice would have fallen not on the peacock but on the common crow."

First ElectionEdit

DMK entered the electoral fray for 1957 State Assembly elections with M Karunanidhi winning the Kulithalai constituency while other seniors members like V. R. Nedunchezhiyan losing from Salem. In 1962 another prominent actor S.S.Rajendran ("SSR") contested in Theni, legislative assembly election, against the then popular congress leader N. R. Theagarajan and won the seat.

C.N. Annadurai's era (1949-1969)Edit

Formation of State GovernmentEdit

In 1967, DMK came to power in Madras province 18 years after its formation and 10 years after it had first entered electoral politics. This began the Dravidian era in Madras province which later became Tamil Nadu. In 1967, the Congress lost nine states to opposition parties, but it was only in Madras state that a single non-Congress party majority was achieved.[35] The electoral victory of 1967 is also reputed to an electoral fusion among the non-Congress parties to avoid a split in the Opposition votes. Rajagopalachari, a former senior leader of the Congress party, had by then left the Congress and launched the right-wing Swatantra Party. He played a vital role in bringing about the electoral fusion amongst the opposition parties to align against the Congress.[36] At that time, his cabinet was the youngest in the country.[37]

Self-respect marriages ActEdit

Annadurai legalised Self-respect marriages for the first time in the country. Such marriages were void of priests to preside over the ceremony and thus did not need a Brahmin to carry out the wedding.[38] Self-respect marriages were a brainchild of Periyar, who regarded the then conventional marriages as mere financial arrangements which often caused great debt through dowry. Self-Respect marriages, according to him, encouraged inter-caste marriages and caused arranged marriages to be replaced by love marriages.[39] Annadurai was also the first to use subsidising of the price of rice for election victory. He promised one rupee a measure of rice, which he initially implemented once in government, but had to withdraw later. Subsidising rice costs are still used as an election promise in Tamil Nadu.[40]

Madras State to Tamil Nadu (14 January 1969)Edit

It was Annadurai's government that renamed the Madras State to its present-day form declaring officially as Tamil Nadu. The name change itself was first presented in the upper house (Rajya Sabha) of the Parliament of India by Bhupesh Gupta, a communist MP from West Bengal, but was then defeated.[41] With Annadurai as chief minister, the state assembly succeeded in passing the bill renaming the states.[42]

Two language policy (1967)Edit

 
Smt Indira Gandhi, K. Kamraj & C.N. Annadurai, Chief Minister of Madras, 1968

Anna was instrumental in organizing the World Tamil Conference under the aegis of UNESCO in 1967.[43] Another major achievement of Annadurai's government was to introduce a two language policy[which?] over the then popular three language formula.[44] The three language formula, which was implemented in the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, entitled students to study three languages: the regional language, English and Hindi.[45]

World Tamil conference (1967)Edit

It was during the period of his Chief Ministership that the Second World Conference was conducted on a grand scale on 3 January 1968.[46] Nevertheless, when a commemorative stamp was released to mark the Tamil conference, Annadurai expressed his dissatisfaction that the stamp contained Hindi when it was for Tamil.[47] Annadurai also issued an order for the removal of the pictures of gods and religious symbols from public offices and buildings.[48]

Karunanidhi's era (1969-2018)Edit

 
Swearing-in ceremony of M. Karunanidhi as chief minister of Tamil Nadu 1989 3rd term.

DMK was headed by M. Karunanidhi from 1969 to until his death on 7 August 2018.[10] He also served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five terms.

Karunanidhi's Dmk five slogans : ( Aimperum Muzhakkam )Edit

M. Karunanidhi in 1970 Anna's 1st year anniversary, DMK state wide conference held in Trichy where Five slogans were released at the conference. Those are,[49][50][51]

  1. The party always follows the footsteps of Annadurai,
  2. An egalitarian society will be formed,
  3. Forever, the party opposes the imposition of Hindi,
  4. Poverty will be overcome through a peaceful manner,
  5. Autonomy for state governments and Union government by coalition.

MGR factionEdit

M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) who was a popular actor and the then party treasurer had played a vital part in popularising the party's ideologies. The political feud between MGR and the party president Karunanidhi emerged as an aftermath of the latter calling himself "Mujib of Tamil Nadu". In 1972, MGR called for a boycott of the party's General Council. With the crisis falling into call for corruption probe by MGR, he was eventually suspended from the General Council. Thus emerged a new party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).[52]

Five terms Chief MinisterEdit

Karunanidhi became an MLA 13 times,5times chief minister and one time member of council in tamil nadu legislative assembly.

Kalaignar fought for the right of CM’s to hoist the National Flag in a StateEdit

Karunanidhi secured right for chief ministers to unfurl Tricolour on Independence Day in 1974, he became first Tamil CM to do so. Karunanidhi secured a precious right for all the Chief Ministers from Indira Gandhi.[53][54][55][56]

Elections under Karunanidhi's PresidencyEdit

  • In the 1977, DMK lost the Assembly elections to MGR's AIADMK, and stayed out of power in the state till 1989.[57] After MGR's death in December 1987, AIADMK split into two factions between Janaki (MGR's wife) and Jayalalithaa. DMK returned to power in 1989 State assembly elections and Karunanidhi took over as chief minister in January 1989.
 
M. Karunanidhi hoist the National Flag in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 1974.
  • in the 1991 election was held on the backdrop of DMK government dissolved within 2 years of formation due to pressure from Rajiv gandhi, in the same year Rajiv was killed by Human bomb during election campaign. Due to DMK's pro Tamil stance and the dismissal of the state government mid way by Rajiv, people's presumption was against DMK and the sympathy wave in favour of AIADMK–Congress alliance and the DMK was deprived of any seats in the Parliament.
  • In the 1996 state elections, DMK came to power on strength of corruption charges against J.Jayalalithaa and the alliance with Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), headed by G.K. Moopanar and supported by cine actor Rajinikanth. However, in 2001, the AIADMK, on strength of a strong alliance and the incumbency factor against DMK, came back to power in the state assembly elections.
  • In the 2004 parliamentary elections, DMK formed an alliance with Congress, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and swept a grand Victory, the alliance winning all 40 seats including Puducherry. This enabled 7 ministerial posts in the Central government and influential power to DMK.
  • Two years later in 2006, the same alliance won in the state assembly elections and the DMK for the first time formed a minority government in the state with help from Congress. M Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of the state for the fifth time. The DMK-Congress alliance was also successful in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
  • In the 2011 Assembly elections, held in the wake of the 2G case and allegations of nepotism, the DMK won only 23 seats, 127 seats less than earlier.
  • In the 2014 Lok Sabha election DMK failed to win any seats; however, by vote percentage it was second only to AIADMK.
  • in the 2016 state assembly elections gave DMK 89 MLA's. The most number for an opposition party in the history of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.

M. K. Stalin era (2018–present)Edit

 
Rahul Gandhi with M. K. Stalin 2019 general election campaign.

Karunanidhi passed away on August 7, 2018, leaving the party in the hands of his son, M.K Stalin. Stalin had been appointed as the working president in January 2017 when Karunanidhi's health started declining, and had previously been named heir apparent by his father. Stalin thus became the second DMK president since the party's inception.[1]

M.K Stalin's Dmk five slogans : ( Aimperum Muzhakkam )Edit

M. K. Stalin in March 25, 2018 DMK state wide conference held in Erode where Five slogans were released at the conference. Those are,[58][59][60]

  1. Let's keep an eye on the Kalaignar's command,
  2. Let us grow and admire Tamil,
  3. Let’s crush the power pile,
  4. Let us protect the humanity from extremism,
  5. Let us grow a prosperous Tamil Nadu.

Elections under M.K Stalin's PresidencyEdit

2019 General Election :

Party ideologyEdit

DMK, from its inception, wanted to have a separate independent state for the Dravidians. C. N. Annadurai wanted a separate Dravida Nadu but the DMK changed its stance with the Chinese invasion in 1962 and suspended its demand for the length of the war and supported India for raising funds for the war. When the war ended, nationalistic feelings were so strong that DMK gave up the separate Dravida nation idea.[67]

The Anti-Hindi agitations of 1965 forced the central government to abandon its efforts to use Hindi as the only official language of the country; still Hindi usage continued as Indian government employees are asked to write as much as 65% of the letters and memoranda in Hindi.[67]

In April 1974, the DMK government brought in a resolution in the House urging the Centre to accept the Rajamannar Committee recommendations on state autonomy and amend the Constitution of India to pave the way for a true federal system.[67]

Party symbolEdit

The party's election symbol is the " sun rising from between two mountains ", with a black and red flag often pictured. The symbol was inspired from leader and scriptwriter M. Karunanidhi's 1950s play "Udaya Suryan", and is intended to signify the "rising" spirit of the Dravidian people.[68]

Election historyEdit

 
Million people march for M Karunanidhi on his funeral. Aug 8, 2018[69]

Tamil Nadu General ElectionEdit

Year Legislature Party leader Seats won Change in seats Percentage of votes Popular vote Outcome
1957 1957 Indian general election in Madras C.N. Annadurai
8 / 41
  8 - - DMK grouped under independent won a total of 8 seats
1962 1962 Indian general election in Madras C.N. Annadurai
7 / 41
  1 18.64% 2,315,610 lost
1967 1967 Indian general election in Madras C.N. Annadurai
36 / 39
  29 51.79% 7,996,264 won
1971 1971 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
38 / 39
  2 55.61% 8,869,095 won
1977 1977 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
5 / 39
  33 37.84% 6,758,517 lost
1980 1980 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
37 / 39
  32 55.89% 10,290,515 won
1984 1984 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
2 / 39
  36 37.04% 8,006,513 lost
1989 1989 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
1 / 39
  1 33.78% 8,918,905 lost
1991 1991 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
0 / 39
  1 27.64% 6,823,581 lost
1996 1996 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
39 / 39
  39 54.96% 14,940,474 won
1998 1998 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
9 / 39
  30 42.72% 10,937,809 lost
1999 1999 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
26 / 39
  17 46.41% 12,638,602 won
2004 2004 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
39 / 39
  13 57.40% 16,483,390 won
2009 2009 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
27 / 39
  12 42.54% 12,929,043 won
2014 2014 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi
0 / 39
  27 26.8% 10,887,347 lost
2019 2019 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu M. K. Stalin
38 / 39
  38 52% 22,303,698 won

Tamil Nadu Assembly ElectionEdit

Year Legislature Party leader Seats won Change in seats Percentage of votes Popular vote Outcome
1957 1957 Madras Legislative Assembly election C.N. Annadurai
13 / 205
  13 - - DMK grouped under independent won a total of 13 seats
1962 1962 Madras Legislative Assembly election C.N. Annadurai
50 / 205
  37 27.10% 3,435,633 Lost
1967 1967 Madras Legislative Assembly election C.N. Annadurai
179 / 234
  129 52.59% 8,051,437 won
1971 1971 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
205 / 234
  26 54.30% 8,506,078 won
1977 1977 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
48 / 234
  157 24.89% 4,258,771 lost
1980 1980 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
69 / 234
  21 44.43% 8,371,718 Lost
1984 1984 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
34 / 234
  35 37.00% 8,021,293 Lost
1989 1989 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
150 / 234
  116 37.89% 9,135,220 won
1991 1991 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
7 / 234
  143 30.05% 7,405,935 Lost
1996 1996 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
221 / 234
  214 53.77% 14,600,748 won
2001 2001 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
37 / 234
  184 38.67% 10,841,157 lost
2006 2006 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
163 / 234
  126 44.75% 14,762,647 won
2011 2011 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
31 / 234
  132 39.5% 14,530,215 Lost
2016 2016 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. Karunanidhi
89 / 234
  58 40% 17,175,374 Lost
2021 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election M. K. Stalin TBD TBD TBD TBD

PuducherryEdit

Year Election Votes Polled Seats Won
1974 3rd Assembly 47,823 2
1977 4th Assembly 30,441 3
1980 5th Assembly 68,030 14
1985 6th Assembly 87,754 5
1990 7th Assembly 101,127 9
1991 8th Assembly 96,607 4
1996 9th Assembly 105,392 7
2001 10th Assembly 83,679 7
2006 11th Assembly 7
2011 12th Assembly 3
2016 13th Assembly 2
Year Election Votes Polled Seats Won
1984 8th Lok Sabha 97,672 0
1989 9th Lok Sabha 157,250 0
1991 10th Lok Sabha 140,313 0
1996 11th Lok Sabha 183,702 0
1998 12th Lok Sabha 168,122 1

List of Leaders of DMKEdit

  1. C. N. Annadurai ( 17 September 1949 – 3 February 1969)
  2. M. Karunanidhi (27 July 1969 - 7 August 2018)
  3. M. K. Stalin (28 August 2018- Incumbent)

List of Chief MinistersEdit

Chief Minister from DMK (Madras State)Edit

  1. C. N. Annadurai (6 March 1967 – 13 January 1969)

Chief Minister from DMK (Tamil Nadu)Edit

  1. C. N. Annadurai (14 January 1969 – 3 February 1969)
  2. M. Karunanidhi ( 10 February 1969 - 4 January 1971), (15 March 1971 - 31 January 1976), (27 January 1989 - 30 January 1991), (13 May 1996 - 13 May 2001), (13 May 2006 - 15 May 2011)

Acting Chief Minister from DMK (Tamil Nadu)Edit

  1. V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (4 February 1969- 9 February 1969)

Chief Minister from DMK (Puducherry)Edit

  1. M. O. H. Farook (17 March 1969 - 3 January 1974)
  2. M. D. R. Ramachandran (16 January 1980 - 24 June 1983), (8 March 1990 - 3 March 1991)
  3. R. V. Janakiraman (26 May 1996 – 21 March 2000)

List of Deputy Chief MinistersEdit

Deputy Chief Minister from DMK (Tamil Nadu)Edit

  1. M.K. Stalin (29 May 2009 – 15 May 2011)

List of Leaders of OppositionEdit

TamilNaduEdit

  1. V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (1962 - 1967)
  2. M. Karunanidhi (1977-1980) (1980-1987)
  3. K. Anbazhagan (2001-2005)
  4. M. K. Stalin (2016-Incumbent)

PuducherryEdit

  1. kuppusamy gounder (1989-95)
  2. R. V. Janakiraman (2001–06)
  3. A.M.H.Nazeem (2006–11)

MediaEdit

The DMK party runs two newspapers, one each in English and Tamil, namely "The Rising Sun" (weekly journal) and "Murasoli" (daily) respectively.[70] Kalaignar TV is a channel started on 15 September 2007 and managed by Kanimozhi and Dayalu Ammal, the daughter and wife of Karunanidhi. The sister channels of Kalaignar TV are Isaiaruvi (music channel), Seithigal (news channel), Sirippoli (comedy channel), Kalaignar Asia and Chithiram (Tamil cartoon channel).[71]

ControversiesEdit

Indira Gandhi dismissed the Karunanidhi government in 1976 based on charges of possible secession and corruption. The DMK government has been indicted by the Sarkaria commission for corruption in allotting tenders for the Veeranam drainage project.[72] In 2001, the former chief secretary, K.A. Nambiar, and a host of others were arrested on charges of corruption in the construction of flyovers in Chennai. Karunanidhi and DMK party members were also charged under Sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, but no prima facie evidence was found against him and his son M K Stalin.

Connections with LTTEEdit

The interim report of Justice Jain Commission, which oversaw the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, indicted Karunanidhi for abetting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).[73] The interim report recommended that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the DMK party be held responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers. The final report contained no such allegations.[74]

Allegations of nepotismEdit

DMK has been accused by opponents, by some members of the party, and by other political observers of trying to promote nepotism and start a political dynasty along the lines of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Vaiko, who quit the DMK, has been the most vocal. Political observers say that Vaiko was sidelined as he was seen as a threat to M.K. Stalin and other family members.

Karunanidhi's nephew, Murasoli Maran, was a Union Minister; however, it has been pointed out that he was in politics long before Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister in 1969.[75]

Many political opponents and DMK party senior leaders have been critical of the rise of M. K. Stalin in the party. But some of the party men have pointed out that Stalin has come up on his own.[76] Stalin was an MLA in 1989 and 1996 when his father Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister, and became Chennai's 44th mayor in 1996. In 2009, he was made the Deputy Chief Minister.

Karunanidhi has been accused of helping Murasoli Maran's son Kalanidhi Maran, who runs Sun Network, India's second largest television network. According to Forbes, Kalanidhi is among India's richest 20, with $2.9 billion.[77]

Another son of Maran's, Dayanidhi Maran, served as Union Minister for Communications and IT portfolio. Dayanidhi was withdrawn from the because Dinakaran (a newspaper run by the Maran brothers) had shown the result of a public poll which read Dayanidhi Maran as the successor to Karunanidhi. This created a bloody violence in the Madurai branch of Dinakaran office, causing the death of three employees.

It has been pointed out that Karunanidhi has hesitated to take action against his erring family members.[78]

Karunanidhi is also accused of allowing Azhagiri to function as an extraconstitutional authority in Madurai.[79] The Dinakaran newspaper case was handed over to the CBI. But the District and Sessions court acquitted all the 17 accused in that case.[80] So far, the case has not been appealed in a higher court to identify and punish the perpetrators of the crime. His daughter Kanimozhi is a member of Rajya Sabha.

Involvement in 2G caseEdit

DMK has been facing allegations regarding 2G spectrum case.[81] The case was brought into limelight in 2010 when case filed against Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja had been reported. 2G licenses were issued to private telecom players at throwaway prices in 2008. The CAG estimated on the basis of 3G auction that the 2G Spectrum case had cost the government 1.76 lakh crore (equivalent to 3.0 trillion or US$43 billion in 2018) (short scale). Rules and procedures were flouted while issuing licenses.[82] The CBI in the Supreme Court has since indicated that the factual loss is around 30,000 crore (equivalent to 500 billion or US$7.3 billion in 2018). One of the party's TV channel stations, Kalaignar TV was raided by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers in connection with the 2G Spectrum case on 19 February 2011.[83] Karunanidhi's daughter MK Kanimozhi arrested and sent to Tihar jail on 20 May 2011 for alleged kickbacks in 2G case. She has been arrested for the illegal transfer of money to the DMK's official channel Kalaignar TV. DMK MP A Raja is the prime accused in 2G case and sent to Tihar Jail. Kanimozhi was subsequently released on bail on 29 November 2011[84] On 21 December 2017 IN THE COURT OF O. P. SAINI: SPL. JUDGE, CBI (04) (2G SPECTRUM CASES), NEW DELHI acquitted all the members, including former telecom minister A. Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

NotesEdit

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ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit