Chennai: DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday suggested that party founder, the late CN Annadurai, be conferred the Bharat Ratna award.
In a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, copies of which was released to the media here, Karunanidhi said: "The founder of the DMK Arignar Anna (CN Annadurai) is a great social reformer, great writer, orator, and litterateur of Tamil Nadu."
"His literary and political works, both in Tamil and English, have been acclaimed as one among the best in Tamil Nadu," he said, adding that Annadurai fully deserves to be honoured with the highest civilian award of India at the coming Republic Day.
Founded in 1949 by Annadurai, the DMK is one of India's oldest parties. The party came to power in Tamil Nadu in 1967 - 18 years after it was formed. Annadurai was the party's first Chief Minister.
In 1969, Annadurai died and was succeeded by Karunanidhi with the support of Tamil movie hero MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR.
In 1972, MGR was expelled from the DMK, after which he floated the AIADMK. The AIADMK ruled Tamil Nadu for a decade until MGR's death in 1987.
In 1988, MGR was awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously.
The other political leaders of the state who were awarded Bharat Ratna are: C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), K Kamaraj and C. Subramaniam - all associated with the Congress.
Interestingly, while the AIADMK and the Congress leaders from Tamil Nadu have got the Bharat Ratna award, nobody from DMK has got the nation's highest civilian award.
The two major political parties in the state - the ruling AIADMK and the DMK - claim to follow the ideals of Annadurai.