CHENNAI: Expelled Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Alagiri on Wednesday held a show of strength at late father at party patriarch M Karunanidhi's memorial at the Marina beach in Chennai. Dressed in black, Stalin along with his supporters, took out a rally from Triplicane. After walking for a while, Alagiri hopped on to an open van, waving enthusiastically to cheer his cadres.
The expelled leader's followers from various districts held banners, which read "karam korpom kazhagam kappom,' (let us join hands and guard the party). The former Union minister's loyalists, including Madurai-based PM Mannan took part in the rally.
Alagiri had announced that he would be holding a 'peace rally' to mourn the death of his father.
After earlier threatening estranged brother MK Stalin of consequences if he is not accepted into DMK, Alagiri had recently said that he is ready to accept Stalin as the leader of the party. He added that he is ready to join the party but Stalin was not ready to take him into the fold. "We are ready to join with them (DMK), he (MK Stalin) is not ready to accept us," Alagiri had said in Madurai.
Revolting against his brother, Alagiri had said that he wants to join the party because he wants to save it. "Earlier Kalaignar was there. Now we have to save the party and we want to join it. If they don't include us in the party, they will have to face the consequences," the expelled DMK leader had said.
Soon after late DMK chief Karunanidhi's death, Alagiri had kicked up a storm by saying that the DMK cadres were with him. His statement was seen as an open challenge to Stalin before he was set to be appointed as the party chief.
However, despite Alagiri's revolt, Stalin was elected unopposed as the party chief as all the 65 district secretaries of the party proposed his name for the top post. Throughout the meeting of the DMK where Stalin was elevated, there was no mention of Alagiri. The party did not even care to give an official response to his claim of having the support of the DMK cadres.
A former minister, Alagiri was expelled in 2014 by Karunanidhi for indulging in anti-party activities and making derogatory remarks. Karunanidhi had then named Stalin as his political heir. The transition of power was formalised when Stalin was made the working president of the party in January 2017 after Karunanidhi's health did not permit him to preside over the affairs of the party.