A Rs 39-crore memorial for late DMK president and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi will be constructed at the Marina on Kamarajar Salai in Chennai in recognition of his efforts to create a "modern Tamil Nadu", Chief Minister M K Stalin announced on Tuesday.
The "Kalaignar Memorial" on the famous beach, where he has been laid to rest after his demise on August 7, 2018, will come up on 2.21 acres of land, Mr Stalin informed the state Assembly. Karunanidhi is fondly addressed as Kalaignar.
Leaders cutting across party lines, including main opposition party and DMK's rival, AIADMK, welcomed the government's announcement.
Recalling the contributions of the late DMK stalwart in various spheres such as social welfare, transport, literature, education, urbanisation and infrastructure development, Mr Stalin hailed his father as the "sculptor of a modern Tamil Nadu."
"After being in the headlines permanently for about half a century, he went into permanent rest on August 7, 2018," Mr Stalin said on the demise of Karunanidhi, adding, he did a lot to the Tamil community before his death.
"In recognition of his great work for mother Tamil Nadu and to highlight his achievements and thought to the future generations, a memorial at a cost of Rs 39 crore will be built for him at the premises of the Anna memorial (DMK founder and late chief minister CN Annadurai) at Kamarajar Salai on 2.21 acres," Mr Stalin said.
It will have modern pictorial illustrations about the late leader, the CM added.
"The Tamil Nadu we see today is created by Kalaignar. Some create city of dreams. Kalaignar is the sculptor who created a dream state," Mr Stalin added.
Speaking in detail about his father, Mr Stalin said he had served for 80 years in public life, besides having an illustrious stint in cinema, where he was known for fiery dialogues in films including Parasakthi, the debut venture of thespian, the late Sivaji Ganesan.
He led the DMK as its president for 50 years, Mr Stalin pointed out.
"Kalaignar could have been the only person to have won all the elections that he contested, starting from Kulithalai (in Tiruchirappally)," he said.
The Dravidian stalwart faced and won elections 13 times, from 1957 to 2016 and remained "untouched by defeat" and first became chief minister in 1969 following the death of CN Annadurai, Stalin recalled.
Karunanidhi's achievements include ensuring classical language status for Tamil, law enabling all caste members to become priests, allowing equal rights for women in property, Chennai Metro Rail scheme and many others, he said.
Political leaders of various parties hailed Mr Stalin's announcement.
AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy Leader of Opposition, O Panneerselvam, welcomed the move on behalf of his party and referred to Karunanidhi's fiery dialogues in many films with a social message.
Later, the government released a proposed design for the memorial, featuring arches and a pen, alluding to his penchant for writing.
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