Nation Politics 05 Jan 2017 Finally, son rises; ...

Finally, son rises; MK Stalin takes over DMK reins

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | E T B SIVAPRIYAN
Published Jan 5, 2017, 7:09 am IST
Updated Jan 5, 2017, 7:20 am IST
New post created for Stalin as he is named working president.
MK Stalin seeks blessings of the DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi after being elected as the working president at the party’s general council meeting, in Chennai on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)
 MK Stalin seeks blessings of the DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi after being elected as the working president at the party’s general council meeting, in Chennai on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)

CHENNAI: Epitomising Lord Rama’s pitru devo bhava (Father is God) philosophy, though his Dravidian party professes rationalism, M.K. Stalin waited patiently for M. Karunanidhi’s call to succeed the latter for the DMK leadership, and refused to succumb to the temptation of challenging his father.

And on Wednesday, the nonagenarian was generous enough to finally approve his son’s coronation as the working president of the 67-year-old party, a post not found in its constitution. He, however, retained the president’s post with him.

 

The closest that Karunanidhi went in announcing Stalin as his political heir was when he appointed him the deputy Chief Minister of 2009. Despite several lieutenants in the party seeking Stalin’s elevation, the father kept dodging them till now and waved the green flag, finally, though only when his poor health forced the decision upon him.

As pointed out in his ‘acceptance’ speech at the party general council session, Stalin has slogged through the climb up, starting with the launch of the youth wing in 1966 and becoming its secretary in 1983–perhaps his father’s trait makes him keep the post with him though he would be turning 64 on the first of this March.

 

The workaholic has been Chennai’s mayor (1996-2002), a minister, a deputy CM in the DMK government (2006-2011) and a legislator six times in his political career spanning over four decades. He is presently the leader of Opposition in TN Assembly.

Karunanidhi had to weather frequent storms within his family with the Madurai-based elder son M.K. Alagiri time and again demanding his pound of flesh.

Realising Stalin’s potential and often having to handle embarrassing acts of “party indiscipline” by Alagiri (to quote a DMK party statement in January 2014), Karunanidhi allowed Stalin to muzzle out his elder brother and bring the party under his control.

 

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