DMK chief Karunanidhi cracks the whip, suspends Alagiri from party

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Last Updated: Friday, January 24, 2014 - 16:39

Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar

Chennai: Tamil Nadu politics is set for a major shake up after DMK chief M Karunanidhi, Friday, suspended his son MK Alagiri from the party for his continued opposition to efforts to stitch an alliance with Vijaykanth`s DMDK.

Karunanidhi`s strong action against his own son also indicates that the DMK patriarch has finally decided to end the bitter leadership tussle in the family. By suspending Alagiri, the DMK chief has made it clear that he favours his younger son MK Stalin to take over the reins of the party.

Alagiri had recently asserted that, for him, Karunandhi was the only leader of the DMK and he will not accept anyone else.

Alagiri always had an uncomfortable relationship with Stalin. Over the years, both brothers had divided territories – Stalin controlled party affairs in northern parts of the state including Chennai while Alagiri was the party`s undisputed boss in southern region, especially Madurai.

Also Read: Stalin snubs Algiri on alliance issue

Karunanidhi had also been particular to keep the scales balanced - Stalin was the Deputy CM in last DMK government while Alagiri was sent to Delhi as a union minister.

But Karunanidhi had time and again expressed his fondness for Stalin, to which Alagiri once said that DMK is not a “mutt” that the throne can be handed down.

However, with DMK facing the prospect of a washout in the Lok Sabha polls and also in view of the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls, Karunanidhi seems to have decided to get the house in order.

Also Read: DMK nominee files papers for RS elections

The tie up with `Captain` Vijaykanth was part of the plan as DMK could not have taken on J Jayalalithaa`s AIADMK on its own. After the washout in the last assembly elections, DMK was replaced by Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) as the principle opposition party in the assembly and Vijaykanth became the Leader of the Opposition.
Karunanidhi, Wednesday, reiterated there have been no talks with the DMDK on forging an alliance for the general elections but an invite has been sent to the party.

Also Read: No talks yet, but DMDK invited for alliance: Karunanidhi

While majority in the party leadership were keen to go with the DMDK, Alagiri had opposed the plan and said that he did not consider Vijaykanth – a movie superstar – a politician hence the party should not tie-up with him.

But the real reason behind Alagiri`s aversion to Vijayakant was because both hailed from Madurai and he feared that `Captain` will encroach on his fiefdom.

In his bid to rein-in Alagiri, Karunanidhi had recently disbanded the Madurai unit of the party and given a stern warning to all party leaders to fall in line or risk disciplinary action.

Also Read: Sibling rivalry to fore again in DMK; Madurai unit dissolved

However, the issue seems to have gone out of Karunanidhi`s control, forcing him to take action against Alagiri.

Going by his personality, Alagiri may not lie low, would react strongly – the possibility of his forming a new party can`t be ruled out.

The months leading to the Lok Sabha polls – Tamil Nadu sends 39 MPs to the Parliament - would surely be interesting times not just with regards to politics within the DMK party but also for Tamil Nadu as a state.



First Published: Friday, January 24, 2014 - 12:55

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