In a major embarrassment to the Congress, its ally in Tamil Nadu and the ruling party, DMK has said the late Chief Minister and Tamil matinee idol M.G. Ramachandran was forced to split the party by the then Union government.
The party, in its mouthpiece Murasoli, said the paper had fired the salvo intended to break the myth of MGR and his legacy which has been a major point of discussion in Tamil media with several articles from prominent personalities glorifying the former Chief Minister. However, it is turning out to be a major embarrassment to the Congress party as it is the alliance partner of the DMK in Tamil Nadu now.
Refuting the charges, DMK state general secretary G.K. Muraleedharan told IANS, "The Indira Congress of 1972 was not a powerful entity and did not have influence in Tamil Nadu when the DMK split. It was the Kamaraj faction that was powerful then and there is no connection between the Congress and the split in DMK. We are vowed to be with secular parties and our core principle is secularism and unity in diversity. Congress cannot be dragged into this controversy."
The editorial in Murasoli quoted from a book "MGR: The Man and Myth" written by K. Mohandas, the Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) when MGR was the chief minister, to substantiate it.
In the book, the former police officer has stated that MGR was threatened by the Union government with Income Tax raids and ED action over his foreign trips and had to bow down to the Centre.
Reacting to it, Tamil Nadu BJP spokesman Narayanan Thirupathy tweeted, "Murasoli editorial has stated that it was the Congress which created infighting in the DMK and created split MGR from the party. The Congress party, which has an alliance with the DMK, is watching this without shame."
AIADMK has not officially reacted to the editorial, but political observers are of the opinion that this article would recoil on the DMK itself as the legacy of MGR would continue in the state.
C. Rajeev, Director, Centre for Policy and Development Studies, a think tank based out of Chennai while speaking to IANS said, "The legacy of MGR is still intact in Tamil Nadu and that's the main reason for such an editorial in Murasoli. It seems that they did not expect that it would affect the Congress since it was the Congress government at the Centre during those days and it was a powerful government also.
"Now it is for Congress to defend the DMK charges. AIADMK as a political party does not have as much a cadre culture as DMK but is rooted in Tamil and Dravidian culture and the party will not be much affected by these allegations in its golden jubilee year."