Chennai: The AIADMK on Tuesday rejected Rajinikanth’s criticism of chief minister K Palaniswami for not attending DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s funeral, saying the actor's comments showed he was playing politics.
Senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar said he represented the government at the funeral on August 8, acting on Palaniswami’s direction. He said Rajinikanth should not have spoken about politics at a condolence meeting.
“It was a condolence meeting for a departed leader. It is not a healthy thing to have spoken politics there... By speaking politics, it is evident that dear friend Rajinikanth lacks political maturity,” he told reporters.
Jayakumar, the state fisheries minister, said charismatic yesteryear actor MG Ramachandran had floated the AIADMK “only against the late DMK chief” Karunanidhi.
Speaking at the condolence meeting organised by the South Indian Artistes Association for Karunanidhi on Monday, Rajinikanth had said many leaders were present during the funeral at Marina.
“For his funeral, the whole of India came. State honours were given by members of the three armed forces. He was given a 21 gun salute. But one thing remains. The governor, many chief ministers and Congress president Rahul Gandhi had come. Tamil Nadu’s first citizen, the chief minister, shouldn’t he have come? Should not the entire cabinet have come? What will people think? Are you MGR (AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran) or Jayalalithaa,” he had asked.
Both MGR and Jayalalithaa were considered Karunanidhi’s rivals.
Hitting out at Rajinikanth for his remarks, Jayakumar said he used the occasion for his own benefit.
“He has used this to try to graduate from a part-time politician to a full-time one. His talk was like a seasoned politician. He used the demise of a leader to attract his (Karunanidhi) supporters to himself,” he added.