With Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party president M. Karunanidhi and general secretary favouring the candidature of M.K. Stalin, his elder brother and Union Minister M.K. Alagiri finds himself sidelined in the succession war.
Answering questions from reporters on Sunday, Mr. Karunanidhi did not take kindly to Mr. Alagiri’s remark that “the DMK was not a Mutt” — implying that a successor could not be nominated.
“Some media distorted it. If someone takes the mischievous reports seriously and expresses opposition, it betrays his ignorance,” he said.
Mr. Karunanidhi sought to dispute media reportage of his remarks on Wednesday, contending that he had only said Mr. Stalin would continue his social work and that sections of the media had mischievously reported that he had said Mr. Stalin would become the DMK’s leader.
When asked how he could blame the media for reporting that way as the DMK was principally a political party and not a social movement, he retorted: could anybody prove he had named Mr. Stalin his successor.
However, Mr. Karunanidhi changed track. “Even if I had said so, what is wrong in it? Can’t Stalin become the leader? Is he not a DMK man? It may upset only those preventing him from becoming leader of the party,” he said.
Mr. Karunanidhi said that the DMK was a democratic political movement and if one wanted to contest for the post of president or general secretary, one’s name had to be proposed at the meeting of the general council and should be approved by majority of the members.
To a question whether he would propose Mr. Stalin’s name at the next general council meeting, he said he could not unilaterally fix a date.
“Organisational polls will be held in a phased manner, beginning from the field level,” he explained.
Asked what prevented him from immediately announcing Mr. Stalin as leader, he said the party’s rules and regulations would not permit him to do so. Asked about the possibilities of aligning with Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) led by actor Vijayakant in the Lok Sabha polls, he said DMDK too contained the letters ‘DMK’.