Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) members elected MK Stalin as their new president on Tuesday. Stalin, who had been officiating as the working president of the party for some time now, was elected 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.
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.
The General Council, before announcing the news, condoled the deaths of late DMK chief Karunanidhi, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, party cadres who died in shock after hearing Karunanidhi’s death, the anti-Sterlite copper smelter plant protesters who were killed in the police firing in Tuticorin in May and also the victims of the floods in Kerala.
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On Sunday, Stalin had given his nomination papers to DMK’s organising secretary RS Bharathi.
On August 20, DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan had said in a statement the General Council would meet at the party headquarters to elect a new president and the treasurer.
Meanwhile, expelled leader and Stalin’s brother M K Alagiri had on Monday warned the party of consequences if he was not re-inducted into DMK.
“Kalaingar (Karunanidhi) is not there now. The party has to be saved and protected,” Alagiri told reporters in Madurai.
“If they don’t readmit me, they will have to face consequences,” he added.
Alagiri has been in political hibernation since his expulsion from the party in 2014 by Karunanidhi. The former union minister was sacked at the height of his fight with Stalin over establishing supremacy in the party.
Indicating a fresh succession war in the DMK, Alagiri had on August 13 claimed that all “loyal” party workers were with him and accused Stalin of blocking his return to the party.
Later, he sought to project himself as someone who was not interested in posts and said he had never hankered for any position in the party even when Karunaidhi was alive.
The DMK, however, has brushed aside Alagiri’s claims and rallied behind Stalin.
(With agency inputs)