Throughout her tenure as AIADMK general secretary, J. Jayalalithaa exchanged many blows with her political rivals. The bitter feud between her and DMK Chief Muthuvel Karunanidhi, though, continues to remain the stuff of lore.
The bitter rivalry between the two leaders hit an all-time low in 2001 when Sun TV broadcasted Karunanidhi’s arrest for his alleged involvement in the flyover scam. The DMK leader, along with a few others, was arrested in a case regarding irregularities in awarding contracts for construction of ten flyovers in Chennai.
Karunanidhi was arrested from his home in the early hours of June 30. In the video, Karunanidhi can be seen being hauled out of a room by the police. While a video put out by the police later tried to counter the narrative put out by Sun TV, the manner of the arrest led to severe criticism of Jayalalithaa. The case was dropped in 2006 when DMK came back to power.
Recounting the incident years later, Karunanidhi spoke about how he had been cordial to Jayalalithaa when they worked in Tamil cinema and how she had “returned the favour” by arresting him at midnight.
With her passing away, the nonagenarian DMK head will probably have one less thing to worry about.