Chennai, Nov 21 (IANS) The Maran brothers, Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi, Friday alleged that charges were being levelled against them by their grand-uncle and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi due to the 'instigation of selfish elements' in the family.
'We have been forced to refute the charges made by our grand-uncle under the obvious instigation of selfish elements (in the Karunanidhi family) because our continuing silence would have meant tacitly admitting them,' Dayanidhi Maran, a DMK MP, told reporters within hours of Karunanidhi's remarks against them that appeared in the DMK organ 'Murasoli' Friday morning.
In an open 12-page signed letter, Kalanidhi Maran said he was forced to speak out since the allegations made by Karunanidhi were personal in nature and questioned the collective integrity, honesty and gratitude of the brothers.
The letter was released to the press by Dayanidhi Maran, former union IT minister, at his posh south Chennai residence in the afternoon.
'We would have borne political allegations silently. Our forced response is due to the questioning of our integrity, honesty and gratitude (to the family and the party itself)... As if the injuries inflicted on us so far aren't enough, the present charges amount to dynamiting our heart,' Kalanidhi Maran's signed letter said.
Kalanidhi said that Dayanidhi 'would have gladly resigned his Lok Sabha seat if that was what the DMK chief wanted, since allegations were being levelled at him.'
Recalling that his father the late Murasoli Maran had served as the conscience of the chief minister and the baton had been passed on to his younger sibling Dayanidhi, Kalanidhi listed various sacrifices made by the siblings and the omissions and commissions on the part of the DMK patriarch with regard to ownership of various media and occupancy of the real estate that belongs to the DMK.
Karunanidhi said in an open letter addressed to his party workers earlier that he had not expected enmity from the Maran brothers - who had literally grown up on the DMK patriarch's shoulders.
Karunanidhi has charged Sun TV, owned by Kalanidhi Maran, of carrying out a conspiracy against the DMK's union minister of IT A. Raja and state minister Arcot Veerasamy.
The chief minister alleged that his grand-nephews 'had systematically worked against the conscience of the party and his personal wishes by publishing reports that went against the united fabric of the family and the political organisation to which they belonged'.
In a separate development, the Loyola College released the results of an opinion poll that said the Sun group of television channels was the most popular in the state with over 58 percent viewership. Others including Kalaignar TV, owned by Karunanidhi's immediate family, came a distant second with less than nine percent viewership.
According to professor Rajanayagam who released the report, over 65 percent of members of the DMK, AIADMK and the Congress and their leaders watched only the news bulletins telecast by the Sun group of channels in Tamil Nadu.
The Sun TV empire, begun in the late '80s, had till a little over two years ago functioned as an adjunct of the DMK.
It now features news items of the ruling DMK as well as the opposition with the latter being accorded a more prominent position.
Dayanidhi Maran resigned as union minister in May 2007 after the Dinakaran, a Tamil daily newspaper owned by the Sun group, published a survey that said most people favoured Karunanidhi's younger son M.K. Stalin as his likely successor to Stalin's elder brother M.K. Azhagiri.
This resulted in Azhagiri's supporters burning down the office of Dinakaran in the city of Madurai, and resulted in the death of three employees and injuries to several others.
Following pressure from the party, Dayanidhi resigned as minister.
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