Alagiri sticks to his gun on succession issue

Last Updated: Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 21:18

Chennai: Unrelenting on succession issue in
DMK, Union Minister M K Alagiri on Thursday insisted he would not
accept anybody else other than his father and Chief Minister M
Karunanidhi as party chief and said he would even contest for
the top party post in case of election.

As Alagiri stuck to his guns a day after Karunanidhi had
sought to put an end to the succession war, his younger
sibling and Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin down played the
issue dismissing it as `media creation`.

"I spoke my mind to a Tamil magazine. I agree with Chief
Minister M Karunanidhi`s view that the leader should be
elected democratically. If there is a contest for the party
President`s post, I will also contest. But why do we need to
talk about all this when Karunanidhi is alive?" Alagiri said.

With the succession controversy continuing, Karunanidhi
had yesterday said only the party had the powers to name a
leader and even he could not do so.

"If there is a democratic election, I will also contest,"
Alagiri, the Madurai-based son of Karunanidhi, told reporters
a day after returning from his overseas tour, reaffirming the
position he had been maintaining since the DMK patriarch gave
indications about his retirement from active politics.

Stalin, widely projected as the heir to 86-year old
Karunanidhi, however, continued to maintain a low profile on
the succession issue.

"It is the creation of the media," Stalin told reporters
in Coimbatore denying differences with his brother on the
issue.

Before embarking on his foreign tour, Alagiri had stated
in an interview last week that Karunanidhi was the only leader
capable of leading the party, reigniting the issue of
succession.

Stalin`s elevation as the Deputy Chief Minister last year
and shifting Alagiri to national politics by making him a
Union Minister by Karunanidhi were viewed as moves to settle
the succession issue.

Karunanidhi had yesterday said "I myself do not know from
which year my post-retirement era starts". Earlier, the
veteran leader had sprung a surprise in December saying he
planned to quit politics at the end of the World Classical
Tamil meet at Coimbatore this June.

Ever since he underwent major spinal cord surgery early
last year, Karunanidhi had remained wheelchair bound.

The succession war came to fore after a survey in 2007 by
Tamil daily `Dinakaran’, owned by Karunanidhi`s grandnephews
Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi Maran, which put Stalin ahead of
Alagiri in the race to succeed the DMK chief.

Stalin, who was promoted as Deputy Chief Minister a day
after Alagiri was sworn in as Union Minister, had been
entrusted with the industry portfolio once held by his father.

Alagiri is credited with being instrumental in broadening
DMK`s base in South Tamil Nadu, once considered an AIADMK
bastion, helping it to win all the Lok Sabha seats from the
region while Stalin headed the Youth brigade.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 21:18

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