Chennai: MK Stalin on Tuesday formally took over as the chief of the DMK, assuming the reins of Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party which his father the late M Karunanidhi controlled for nearly half-century.
In his maiden address to the General Council after his election, Stalin asked the party cadre to teach a lesson to the BJP-led NDA government, accusing it of trying to polarise the country. "The Narendra Modi government is trying to paint the nation in the colour saffron (a symbol of Hindutva). Let's teach it a lesson," he said.
Targeting the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, Stalin called it a "spineless" dispensation which needed to be "thrown out".
Stalin’s voice often choked with emotion, the 6-time MLA and a former deputy chief minister, said he had a dream of a beautiful future for Tamil Nadu.
"Let's realise this dream of a beautiful future together...let's march together," he said, sending out the message of inclusivity as the party's rank and file rallied behind him despite a recalcitrant Alagiri.
The ceremony took place at the DMK headquarters. After the meeting, Stalin visited his father's memorial on Chennai's Marina Beach to seek his blessings.
Looking back at the 49 years of Karunanidhi's leadership, Stalin who stepped into his father’s shoes said, “I never dreamt that I would lead the party. It is a huge responsibility... I don't say I would lead. Let's do it together. Let's question all including ourselves if we go wrong.”
"Today's political situation has come as a grave challenge. Education, art, literature, religion are under attack by authoritative and communal forces. The Union government is trying to destabilise judiciary, selection of governors. All this has dealt a blow to the secular principles," Stalin said. Under the BJP, even the rights of state governments were being trampled upon, he added.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders including Mamata Banerjee congratulated Stalin on his elevation....