Madurai: Despite repeated hints by DMK
patriarch M Karunanidhi about retiring from active politics,
his elder son and Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M K
Alagiri on Saturday said his father would become the Chief Minister
again in 2011 when the state is due to go to polls.
"Karunanidhi will become Chief Minister again in 2011,"
Alagiri told reporters a fortnight after the Chief Minister
gave hints about retiring from politics.
The DMK chief had said on January 15 that he wished to
follow in the footsteps of CPI(M) veteran Jyoti Basu, Dravida
Kazagham leader, the late Periyar and former South African
President Nelson Mandela.
It was the second time in recent weeks that Karunanidhi
had indicated about his exit from active politics. He had
earlier hinted at quitting active politics after the World
Tamil classical conference, slated to be held at Coimbatore in
Alagiri, considered DMK`s strongman in south Tamil Nadu,
said he and his younger brother Deputy Chief Minister M K
Stalin "will work like double barrel gun and destroy the
enemies in the 2011 elections."
Talking to the media here on his occasion of his 59th
birthday today, he said "We will work in the path shown by our
leader Karunanidhi and make the DMK retain power."
Alagiri`s significant remarks come a day after Stalin,
apparently seeking to scotch speculation about power struggle
with his elder brother, said they would function as a "double
barrel gun" of the DMK.
"We have taken a vow to be double barrel gun of the party
during his (Alagiri) 58th birthday (last year) and we will
strengthen the party together," Stalin said at a function
here last evening.
Madurai, considered the bastion of Alagiri, wore a
festive look with cut-outs and banners carrying Alagiri`s
pictures put up on roadsides.
The projection of Alagiri, also DMK`s South Zone
Organising Secretary, on a grand scale raised questions about
a possible succession race for chief ministership.
With Karunanidhi hinting at his retirement from active
politics, speculation is also rife about Alagiri`s return to
Stalin is being viewed as heir apparent to Karunanidhi,
who has, however, did not officially comment on the issue of
DMK workers also distributed food for the poor and
highlighted efforts to make the city clean, on the occasion.
Free food was served at Othakadai Narasimhar temple, where
Alagiri started his campaign in the Lok Sabha elections, to
3000 people. Besides food was served free to all at Muthiah
Manram in this city where his fans had gathered.
Three buses had been engaged on contract basis to transport
passengers from Mattuthavani to Arapalayam bus stand free of
cost. A banner on the bus read `the service is offered free of
cost for people to mark the birthday of M.K.Alagiri.`
Hundreds of people gathered in queue to honour Alagiri
with shawls. Alagiri also presented towels to aged poor people
and sought their blessings.
Alagiri had commissioned for the public free to use modern
toilet complexes, designed on the model of ones at Delhi, at
10 places in the city yesterday.
"My wish is to make Madurai city a clean city.I have begun
from here,with inauguration of modern toilets," The Minister
said and also urged the trade organisations and industrialists
to help in making the city clean and green by participating in
the construction of toilets and planting trees.
Maintenance of toilets would be done by various companies
including TVS, Dalmia, and Kevincare, officials said.