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DMK at the crossroads ahead of crucial meeting

Ahead of next week`s crucial general council meeting, the DMK is at the crossroads with differences among Karunanidhi family members over the succession issue, threatening to make the two-day meet at Coimbatore a stormy affair.



Chennai: Ahead of next week`s crucial general
council meeting, the DMK is at the crossroads with differences
among Karunanidhi family members over the succession issue,
threatening to make the two-day meet at Coimbatore a
stormy affair.

The succession war between Karunanidhi`s sons MK Stalin
and his Madurai-based sibling and Union Minister MK Alagiri
is no public secret, but the 2G spectrum allocation scam and
the electoral drubbing at the hands of arch rival AIADMK in
the April 13 Assembly Elections, has made matters worse.

Stalin is said to be upset over dent on the party`s image
caused by the 2G scam that has landed his step-sister
Kanimozhi and Karunanidhi`s trusted junior colleague, former
Telecom Minister A Raja, in jail for their alleged roles.

It is also widely perceived that the two-day meet could
see Stalin`s supporters press for a much bigger role for their
`Thalapathy` (The General) in party affairs, even asking
Karunanidhi to vacate the president`s chair for his son.

However, the Alagiri camp is expected to put up stiff
resistance and insist on Karunanidhi`s continuance as party
boss, a stand reaffirmed by Alagiri who recently said that
Karunanidhi would be the party chief.

In a recent reported spat between Karunanidhi and Stalin,
considered the 88 year-old patriarch`s political heir
apparent, over functioning of DMK`s women`s wing, the two
are learnt to have made some strong remarks, before walking
out of the party headquarters, Anna Arivalayam.

Stalin reportedly pointed an accusing finger at supporters
of Kanimozhi and Alagiri for the party`s rough patch, but
Karunanidhi put up an emotional defence of his daughter and
blamed the Centre for her arrest on the 2G spectrum issue.

With two key district secretaries - a powerful post in
DMK`s organisational set-up -- quitting after the poll debacle,
the party has proposed a shake up, replacing it with Lok Sabha
segment level convenors, that has turned up the heat.

While Stalin, one of the very few top leaders to survive
the April 13 elections, is in favour of such a system, Alagiri
is learnt to have insisted on status quo.

Sources close to Alagiri said he has made it clear there
was no need to do away with the district secretaries` post,
but only to act against non-performing leaders.

Senior leaders, many of them also secretaries of
respective district units, have resented the high command`s
move as they fear this will curtail their powers.

Interestingly, Alagiri, had recently acknowledged that
even partymen had been blaming family politics as being
instrumental for the DMK`s poor show in elections.

The DMK`s woes have compounded with CBI now gunning for
Dayanidhi Maran for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam,
that also caused his exit from the Union Cabinet.

Now all eyes are on the DMK executive and general council
(July 23-24), which is expected to see some fireworks between
supporters of the Stalin and Alagiri factions.

The meet is also expected to take a view on DMK`s troubled
ties with Congress, which had soured in the wake of
Kanimozhi`s arrest.

It may also take a decision on the issue of replacements
for Raja and Maran in the Union Cabinet, with a sulking
Karunanidhi not keen on suggesting any names before the recent
Cabinet reshuffle.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said he had left two
Cabinet berths vacant for DMK. Raja and Maran had quit in
connection with the 2G spectrum scam and Alagiri is the lone
Cabinet minister representing DMK.

PTI

From Zee News

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