CHENNAI: M. K. Stalin has completed one year as the DMK president since taking charge of the party's reins following the demise of his 95-year-old father M. Karunanidhi who reigned supreme in the Dravidian party in the footsteps of its founder C. N. Annadurai.
Stalin steered the party to spectacular victory in the April Lok Sabha elections winning 38 out of 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and his DMK emerged as the third largest party in the Parliament after the BJP and Congress.
Stalin gradually rose in the party ranks occupying various positions such as youth wing secretary, deputy general secretary, treasurer and party's working president. He was elected to the post of DMK president on Aug. 28, 2018, at the party's general council.
At the general council meeting held at Anna Arivalayam he had said, "I cannot talk like Thalaivar Kalaignar. I don't. But I stand before you with the guts to try anything and implement it."
Following the demise of Karunanidhi many leaders, even Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth expressed that a political vacuum has been created owing to the passing away of 'Kalaignar.' But Stalin piloted the party to victory in the April Lok Sabh elections.
"DMK had 23 MLAs initially, Now it has increased to 100 due to Stalin's hard work. He is a symbol of faith for the people. He created an alliance with like-minded parties and steered the alliance to victory. This is his greatest achievement. The SC/ST people who have reposed faith on him are solidly with him," says V. P. Duraisamy, DMK deputy general secretary.
"He is a capable leader of the party and his crowning glory is the landslide victory in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The grand alliance had fetched him grand victory," says T. K. Elangovan, party senior and MP. Following the victory in election and also the political strategy, Stalin, he said has emerged as a tallest leader from the south in national politics.
Paying rich tributes to the party chief, Murasoli described him in an article as "a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way."
Asked if it was a setback to the DMK that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, whose name was proposed by Mr. Stalin as the Prime Ministerial candidate, could not become PM and that a situation arose leading to Rahul quitting the post in the party, Mr. Duraisamy replied, "it is not at all a setback."
Explaining further he said, the DMK chief had only conveyed the party's desire that Rahul should be projected as the PM candidate. "Tamil Nadu electorate responded well and gave us a massive win but those in the north had voted otherwise. It is not a setback. DMK is a regional party. It was Rahul's decision to quit.
Our leader had even appealed to him to reconsider his decision," Mr. Duraisamy added....