After Karunanidhi’s death, Alagiri targets Stalin

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Chennai, Aug 13 (IANS) Six days after the death of M. Karunanidhi, his elder son and former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri on Monday asserted that “true loyalists” of his late father were with him and that his brother M.K. Stalin was a poor leader.

Paying homage to Karunanidhi at his memorial at the Marina Beach here, Alagiri, who was expelled from the DMK in 2014 for criticizing party leaders, told reporters that he had poured his anguish about the party to his father.

He said his anguish was about the party and not about the family and the public would come to know the whole story at the appropriate time.

Alagiri declined to comment about the DMK’s Executive Committee meeting to be held here on Tuesday, stating that he was no more in the party.

Alagiri aspired to succeed to the DMK’s top post but Karunanidhi, the DMK President until his death, picked his other son Stalin to lead the party and designated him the Working President.

Once considered a strongman from Madurai, Alagiri told CNN News18 that he was the right person to head the DMK and alleged that Stalin was the “Working President” of the party but was not working.

Alagiri added that he was not happy with the way the party was being run. On being asked if there would be a split in the DMK, Alagiri replied how could he split the party when he was not in it in the first place.

Asked if he would do better than Stalin if given an opportunity, Alagiri told CNN: “Definitely, that is what the cadres also want.”

Analysts, however, said that Stalin may not re-admit Alagiri into the party as it would result in a needless power struggle.

“Re-admitting Alagiri will lead to a power struggle resulting in huge damage for the party. So the DMK will not take back Alagiri,” Raveendharan Dhuraiswamy told IANS.

Jhon Arokiasamy, another analyst, added that outside of DMK Alagiri may create some flutter but cannot do much damage to the main opposition party.

“Further the second line leaders would not like to rock the boat and would queue up behind Stalin,” Arokiasamy told IANS.

In the last couple of years, most political observers feel that Stalin has consolidated his hold on the DMK, isolating Alagiri.

“Alagiri can be a force if his step sister and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi also extends a supporting hand,” Arokiasamy said. “But that is remote now.”

Both analysts agree that Alagiri would try to dent DMK’s prospects in the ensuing by-elections for the Thiruparankundram and Thiruvarur Assembly constituencies.

The Thiruparankundram seat fell vacant following the death of AIADMK’s A.K.Bose while the Thiruvarur seat was represented by Karunanidhi.

But Arokiasamy warned that the DMK would not only face tough competition from the ruling AIADMK, the PMK and Dinakaran’s party but may have to contend with a sulking Alagiri.



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