In his first speech as president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), MK Stalin called on his supporters to oust the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre.

Stalin, the working president of the party till before the demise of party supremo M Karunanidhi, accused the Centre of sabotaging all institutions of the country.

“Everything – education, religion, literature and art – is under attack by authoritative and communal forces,” he reportedly said at the meeting attended by the party’s general council.

According to reports, Stalin said that the Centre is trying to destabilise judiciary and questioned its method of selecting Governors.

He said that the political manoeuvres of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have dealt a blow to the secular principles.

“Let’s teach a lesson to the Modi government,” Stalin told cadres of his party who assembled in large numbers to welcome the new ‘Thalapathy’.

His speech cleared all doubts over DMK forming an alliance with the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Calling the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in Tamil Nadu “spineless”, Stalin asked his supporters to unseat the arch rival of the DMK.

He also pledged to protect, cherish and advance the four founding principles of DMK – self respect, social justice, rationalism and secularism.

Following the meeting, Stalin also visited M Karunanidhi’s memorial at Chennai’s Marina Beach where he and other senior party leaders paid their tributes.

Meanwhile, the DMK brushed aside expelled party leader MK Alagiri’s threat calling it “small” as compared to the bigger threats from J Jayalalithaa.

“It [Alagiri threat] is a matter which will subside in due course,” said TKS Elangovan, DMK MP in the Rajya Sabha.

Alagiri, the older brother of MK Stalin, had on Monday threatened of consequences if he is not reinstated in the party.

At the DMK election held today, Stalin was elected unanimously and unopposed. He had filed his nomination papers on Sunday, the last day to do so. Stalin was the only candidate to file nominations for the post.

Read More: MK Stalin elected DMK chief unopposed

Senior party leader Durai Murugan was elected, also unopposed, the party’s treasurer. Both Stalin and Durai Murugan were formally elected at the General Council meeting to be held in Chennai.

DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan said that 1,307 party officials seconded Stalin’s candidature.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi hailed the beginning of a “new chapter” in Stalin’s journey and congratulated him on the achievement.

“Congratulations to Shri M K Stalin on being elected President of the DMK. I wish him happiness & success as he begins a new chapter in his political journey,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.

 

Among others who congratulated Stalin was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been trying to create an alliance of anti-BJP parties ahead of the 2019 elections.

“Congratulations and best wishes to @mkstalin for being elected President of the DMK @arivalayam,” she wrote on Twitter.

 

The 65-year-old Stalin has been in active politics since the age of 14. He is the third son of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.