Chennai: DMK president M K Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin, a film actor and producer by occupation, was on Thursday appointed secretary of the party youth wing.
With this he becomes the sixth member of the Karunanidhi family to rise to prominence in the party after former Union Minister Murasoli Maran (Karunanidhi’s nephew), Stalin (son), Dayanidhi Maran (grand nephew), M K Alagiri (son, now expelled) and Kanimozhi (daughter).
Just two years ago Stalin had categorically said that there was no scope for any of his family members to get a posting in the DMK.
The youth wing in the DMK is considered a vital organisation. In fact it was created by former DMK president M Karunanidhi in the 1980s to make room for Stalin’s eventual ascension to the party throne.
Stalin, the founding secretary of the DMK youth wing, remained in the post for over 30 years and quit the post only in early 2017 when he took over in a newly created post of DMK working president after Karunanidhi fell ill.
Former MLA Vellakoil M P Saminathan, who succeeded Stalin in the youth wing, has now been made a member of the party high level committee. The 42-year-old Udhayanidhi, who has acted in about a dozen Tamil films, had campaigned extensively in the recent Lok Sabha campaign.
Soon after the DMK’s success in the elections, all its district secretaries wrote to Stalin urging him to anoint Udhayanidhi as the chief of the youth wing. They claimed that his campaign was well received by the people and he had drawn huge crowds during his road tour.
Soon after the announcement of his appointment was made, jubilant supporters burst crackers at the party office and outside Udhayanidhi’s house and distributed sweets.
Senior party leaders made a beeline to greet him and spoke to the media in glorifying terms about his contribution to the party for many years. “Even 20 years ago, he participated in a party meeting in my native Villupuram district,” former minister K Ponmudi said.
Leaders of the DMK’s allies including MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who had once rebelled against Karunanidhi over the prominence given to Stalin within the DMK, hailed Udhayanidhi’s appointment.