Chennai: Pained by continuing internal bickering in his party, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Sunday made a fervent appeal for unity, saying he was grieved over the fact that there was enough squabbling in the ranks that would harm the party more than any external factor.
With less than a year left for the next Lok Sabha polls, considered crucial for the DMK after being drubbed by arch-rival AIADMK in the 2011 assembly elections, Karunanidhi said he was aware that many senior party functionaries were at each other`s throat.
Holding that discipline was a key element in DMK ranks, he said as somebody who had been in politics for 70 years and having seen its nitty-gritty, he said the inner-party fighting and differences could be inimical to DMK`s interests.
"I am not ashamed to admit frankly that there are differences sparked by mutual charges, finding faults at each other and making allegations. I don`t presume everyone is working with the intention of contributing to the party," the 88-year-old leader said in his most candid remarks so far.
He was addressing party`s platform speakers at a meeting also attended by his children M K Stalin and Kanimozhi, besides former Telecom Minster A Raja among senior leaders.
Karunanidhi`s outburst comes at a time when sibling rivalry between Stalin and his elder brother and former Union minister M K Alagiri has taken centre-stage in the party.
Stalin`s supporters are up in arms against senior functionary and actor Khushboo for her comments regarding Karunanidhi`s successor.
Karunanidhi, however, said the lack of unity in the party was not something new and DMK had crossed various such chapters in its existence till day, adding those challenges involving "traitors" were overcome only by staying united.
Some in-fighting in his native Tiruvarur district had pained him and "there can be no bigger insult to me than this," he rued while asking his supporters to stand united to face the challenge by AIADMK.