Chennai: Barely days after the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, his second son MK Alagiri on Monday did some political posturing, challenging his younger brother and party working President MK Stalin by claiming that “true loyalists” of the late leader were with him. His comments come just a day ahead of the DMK emergency executive committee meeting convened to pay homage to Karunanidhi.
Alagiri, who with his family went to Marina to pay homage to his father at the place where he was buried, said, “I expressed my grievances to Kalaignar (Karunanidhi). You will not know of my grievances now. But Thalaivar (leader) Kalaignar’s true loyalists are all with me. All loyalists across Tamil Nadu are with me. Time will provide an answer for this.”
Asked if his grievances were related to the family or party, he responded, “It is with regard to DMK.” Later he said that in two or three days he will spell out his views but acknowledged that he was no longer in the DMK. Later he claimed to a TV channel that many senior DMK leaders were in touch with actor Rajinikanth, who is preparing for a political plunge. Positions were being sold in the DMK, he alleged adding that Stalin feared taking him back into the party fold.
However, the Stalin camp remained calm and fielded its second rung functionary and MLA Anbazhagan to diminish Alagiri’s standing, saying he was not even a member of DMK and hence there was no need to respond to his comments. Alagiri was expelled from DMK ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when Karunanidhi was at the helm for anti-party activities. Repeated attempts made by Alagiri to buy peace with his father had failed.
Stalin loyalists argued that Alagiri was merely posturing to stem the momentum in support of his younger brother under whom the DMK has consolidated in the past few years. “Except for a few functionaries, who could be counted with fingers, no one is backing him.’’
The mood within DMK is that Alagiri with his image as a trouble-creator would do more harm to the party within than from outside. “He doesn’t have a public-friendly image considering that his name in the past was linked with violent incidents such as the 2003 murder of former minister T Kiruthinan and burning of the office of Tamil daily Dinakaran. The courts have absolved him but the image lingers on,” says another leader. There is also an apprehension that re-inducting him would create an impression that DMK is filled with dynasts of the Karunanidhi family.