Expelled MK Alagiri claims loyal DMK workers are with him

All the party loyalists, followers of thalaivar Kalaignar, are supporting me.

Chennai: In less than a week after his father and DMK leader M Karunanidhi’s death, his estranged son MK Alagiri on Tuesday sounded the war bugle declaring the party loyalists were firmly behind him but (younger brother) Stalin was unwilling to take him back into the DMK as he was scared of his emergence as leader.

“I have come to submit my anguish before my father. You will know later what that is”, he told reporters after offering a huge garland at the Karunanidhi memorial on Marina, along with his family.

“All the party loyalists, followers of thalaivar Kalaignar, are supporting me. Time will show this”, Alagiri said. He said his ‘anguish’ related to the party and not the family. As he was not a member of the DMK, he cannot comment on the party executive meeting happening on Tuesday, he said in response to a question.

While the media got excited over the clouds of succession war gathering over the DMK even as it is mourning the loss of its patriarch, the party itself dismissed the Alagiri missile as of no consequence. “Only you, the TV channels and the other media, are giving credence to Alagiri. He is not even a member of the DMK as thalaivar (Karunanidhi) had himself expelled him”, said the DMK south Chennai district secretary J. Anbazhagan, MLA.

That even their father’s long ailment and his death failed to bring the two warring brothers close was evident when Alagiri stood at a different corner in the room at their Gopalapuram residence when the body was brought from the hospital late night of August 7. It was Stalin who sat close to the head and accepted the condolences offered by the visitors. Even later, there was not even an eye-contact between the two at the Rajaji Hall and later during the last rites at Marina.

Party insiders insist that Alagiri decided on the Marina show as a last resort after failing to get the family prevail upon Stalin to accept truce on his terms and “perhaps to repeat the OPS drama”. They said Alagiri wanted the party to invite him to return to its fold and to offer him a position equal to that of Stalin.

“Perhaps he is inspired by the EPS-OPS example in the AIADMK; but Stalin or for that matter any among the party leaders are quite clear there is no place for Alagiri after all that he had said and done to damage the party”, said a DMK senior requesting anonymity.

He also pointed out that it was Karunanidhi who had announced the expulsion of Alagiri and his supporters from the DMK in January 2014 at the height of his war with Stalin. The DMK chief had justified his action saying Alagiri "nursed some unknown hatred for Stalin and cursed he would die in three months". Alagiri dismissed his father's charge as baseless.

But then, he continued to target Stalin for harsh attack on various occasions, such as when Stalin embarked on an aggressive voter outreach campaign across the state that he had named, 'Namakku Naame Vidiyal Meetpu Payanam' (We for ourselves, journey to retrieve the dawn), Alagiri dismissed it as "a comedy show". And when the DMK lost security deposit in the RK Nagar Assembly by-election last year, which was won by TTV Dhinakaran, he alleged that Stalin's leadership would destroy the DMK. "Not just the RK Nagar bypoll, the DMK will not henceforth win any election. There is no chance of the party winning as long as this working president (Stalin) is there," he had said.

All those open statements and activities soaked in bitter belligerence for his brother have not gone down well with the DMK functionaries and cadres, who are quick to point out that Stalin has diligently worked his way up in the party hierarchy and gone through much hardship, such as the harsh imprisonment during the Emergency.

On the other hand, Alagiri had remained in the background, at least till the Tirumangalam by-election victory for the DMK (2009), which ended up becoming the ready example for critics speaking about electoral corruption in TN. Nevertheless, that poll win for the party secured Alagiri the post of DMK's south zone organising secretary and winning the Madurai Lok Sabha seat at that time, he ended up as the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers. His controversial term at the Centre ended when the DMK pulled out of the UPA in March 2013 over the Lankan Tamil issue.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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