The catfight of the cousins—M. Karunanidhi‘s sons M.K. Stalin and M.K. Azhagiri on one side, Murasoli Maran‘s sons Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi Maran on the other—is already the talk of the town in Tamil Nadu.
The low rating for Azhagiri and the pumping up of Dayanidhi Maran in opinion polls carried by Dinakaran, owned by Kalanidhi Maran’s Sun TV group, has left three Sun employees dead and the Central Bureau of Investigation has been called in to probe the arson. But the fallout is far from over.
Dayanidhi Maran, the Union Information Technology minister, was conspicuously absent from the grand show to felicitate Karunanidhi upon his completion of 50 years as legislator, although both the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi were present.
Maran’s absence, he is currently holidaying in Ooty, has cast a shadow over his continuance in the UPA government much longer. And his fate is likely to be decided at an emergency meeting of the DMK this evening.
But the real surprise in l’affaire Azhagiri is Sun TV.
The channel shares the same rising sun emblem of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). It was on Sun’s back that the DMK stormed back to power in 1996. And when Jayalalithaa arrested Karunanidhi and put him behind bars, it was Sun TV’s visuals which swung public opinion.
But, suddenly, the DMK mouthpiece is baring its fangs. It has repeatedly called the goons who attacked its premises as “Azhagiri Rowdies”. And, in what could be a inkling of the shape of things to come, it seems to have quickly fallen out of favour with the DMK bosses.
Karunanidhi’s moment of pride, the felicitation, will be shown on television today for the benefit of the unwashed millions who couldn’t make it to Island Grounds on Friday. But—wait for this—the media vehicle that the DMK seems to have chosen is not Sun TV but on its competitor, RajTV.
And it wasn’t long ago that Sun TV was using its political clout in Delhi to get the uplinking licence of Raj TV revoked!
Cross-posted on sans serif