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Sibling war over prez post intensifies in DMK

Statesman News Service | Chennai |

The sibling rivalry in Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) intensified with the official wing of party deciding to go ahead with plan to elevate M K Stalin, son of M Karunanidhi, the 50- years-long president of the party who died recently, and the estranged elder brother M K Alagiri upped the ante of revolt to a new level declaring a rally of his loyalists in Chennai on 5 September.

It is almost ensured that the DMK is going to elevate Stalin in the party’s general council meeting, called by its general secretary K Anbazhagan, on 28 August.

Party general secretary has included election of president and treasurer, along with audit committee’s report in the agenda for the event to be held at DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam. As a prelude to the election of Stalin as the party’s head, district units and various wings of DMK have passed resolutions to the effect that they accept his leadership.

Stalin’s elevation to the president’s post is quite natural as he has been functioning as the working president of the party ever since his father and five-time chief minister Karunanidhi’s failing health kept him out of active politics.

In the course of making his younger son, Stalin, his heir, Karunanidhi expelled Alagiri, his elder son from the party four years ago citing anti-party activities.

Though Alagiri was keeping a low in the public life for the past few years and never criticised party organ, immediately after the demise of Karunanidhi he came out in open to revolt against Stalin while visiting his father’s grave days after the cremation.

According to political observers and some of the veteran journalist’s opinion, Alagiri will continue to be a headache for Stalin as he is still holding good influence in south Tamil Nadu. His rally will be the first step of upping the ante of rebellion to a new level after he staked claim to his father’s mantle at his grave at the Marina on 13 August, especially one of its kind to be organised in Chennai.

“The permission to hold a rally from Anna Statue has been sought from police and we hope to get it in a day or two. More than 75,000 people are expected tp to turn up,” said Alagiri. Though Alagiri claims that he is not holding the rally to prove his popularity, it is evident from the fact that the venue chosen for the rally is a pointer to Stalin.

And according to sources close to DMK, some of the senior leaders of the party had in touch with Alagiri and the probability of a heightened fight among the siblings is gaining ground. If elected as president of the party, Stalin will only be the second president of DMK which was founded by late Dravidian Starwalt C N Annadurai in 1949.

The sources close to party revealed that the former minister and the party’s principal secretary Durai Murugan will be elevated to the coveted post of treasurer, a decision which was pointed out by political observers as the immediate cause of Alagiri’s rebellion.

Meanwhile, Senior leaders of the DMK are confident there would be absolutely no opposition to Stalin taking over the party reins. Some of them even believe that the BJP at the centre is creating problems in the party.

Some of the political observers also are of the opinion that the degradation of Dravidian movement in the state is necessary for the BJP or any other party to gain grounds.