MK Alagiri, the elder son of erstwhile DMK president M. Karunanidhi, has sharpened his attack on his younger brother and party working president MK Stalin. In the fresh assault, Alagiri said that he is being forced to speak against the current working of the DMK since Karunanidhi is no more. The DMK’s erstwhile Madurai strongman said he has been reduced to do this because of the current leadership, viz. Stalin, prevented his chances of being re-inducted into the party when Karunanidhi was alive.

Alagiri is due to hold a rally on September 5 to stake a claim for the leadership of the party which is being, by and large, seen as Stalin’s party and one under a unified command. The two siblings’ step-sister Kanimozhi has pitched her support for Stalin ahead of this episode of fratricide. Speaking of his September 5 rally, Alagiri said it has been organised on the request of his supporters as they want to carry a rally under his leadership.

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He added that he has ended his long-kept silence now to save the DMK after Karunanidhi’s demise. He warned the DMK and said that they will face serious consequences if they fail to reinduct him in the party again.

The DMK general council is meeting on August 28 to formally anoint Stalin as the party president. He is the lone candidate to file nomination for the inner-party election. The council is expected to vote along clear loyalty lines in favour of Stalin. Alagiri’s rally assumes significance in that aspect.

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During Karunanidhi’s tenure as party chief, any rival claimant was expelled from the party. The list of people expelled include MG Ramachandran, the charismatic actor who formed the AIADMK in 1972 that kept the DMK away from power till his death in 1987, and Vaiko, then Vai Gopalsamy, who had challenged the grooming of Stalin for a future party leadership role.

The AIADMK under the current state government has been rudderless following J. Jayalalithaa’s death in 2016. Though the DMK is far from lost, a battle between brothers may hamper the party ahead of the 2019 general elections when it could play the role of a kingmaker in the non-BJP camp.

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