Madurai : A day ahead of his brother MK Stalin’s elevation as the DMK president, expelled leader MK Alagiri on Monday hardened his stance saying he will continue with the proposed September 5 march and warned the party of consequences if he was not readmitted.
The former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam strongman in southern Tamil Nadu, who has been flexing muscles since the death of his father M Karunanidhi on August 7, said the rally in Chennai was being organised as per the wishes of the cadres.
“They (cadres) only wanted me to take the lead in organising the march to pay homage (to Karunanidhi),” he told reporters here.
He said he was doing all this to “save” the DMK following the demise of Karunanidhi.
“Kalaingar (Karunanidhi) is not there now. The party has to be saved and protected,” Alagiri said.
“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.
All along considered the political heir apparent of his father, Stalin is all set to be elected unopposed as the party president – succeeding Karunanidhi – at the DMK’s general council meet in Chennai on Tuesday.
He was the sole candidate in fray at close of nomination on Sunday evening.
Replying to a question why he did not register his opposition when Stalin was made the working president of the party, he said Karunanidhi was then alive.
“Kalaingar wanted to readmit me. But these people (the Stalin group) were preventing him then,” he said.
The Madurai-based Alagiri, who has been holding a series of meetings in the past few days with his supporters here on the Chennai rally, continued the consultation on Monday.
On whether any DMK leader would participate in the march, he said, “I don’t want to answer questions based on presumptions.” On Saturday, he had said his strength would be known during the rally. “You will know how the party men accept me and want me there (in the party),” he had said.
He had also claimed that if he was not readmitted into the DMK, the party leaders would face a similar defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha election like in the last Parliament and assembly polls.
Alagiri wielded considerable influence in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and was the party’s organising secretary for the south zone before his expulsion.
Amit Shah to skip Karuna memorial meet
Chennai: The BJP on Monday said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and its national secretary Muralidhar Rao would represent the party at a memorial meeting for DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, setting at rest speculation over its president Amit Shah’s participation at the August 30 event.
BJP state unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan said that Gadkari, Minister for Shipping, and Rao would attend the meeting, expected to see participation of a galaxy of political leaders from across the country. Former PM HD Deve Gowda, Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress, CMs of Andhra and Bihar, N Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar respectively, their Delhi counterpart A Kejriwal and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury are among those likely to attend.
A section of the media had reported that Shah had accepted the DMK invite, setting off speculations of political realignments ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
Of late, the DMK has been highly critical of the BJP on various issues, including Cauvery and NEET.