MK keeps succession issue open

Just as preparations are afoot for the organisational elections in the DMK, the 89-year-old party patriarch and former Tamil Nadu chief minister, M Karunanidhi, has continued to keep the leadership succession issue open.

“Elections to the top positions (like President, General Secretary, Treasurer etc at the headquarters level which comes last in the DMK’s schedule of organisational polls) is still one year away, but I will contest (for President’s post) if I am alive after one year,” Karunanidhi said on Wednesday.

Amid reports in the Tamil media on Wednesday whether his younger son, M K Stalin, who is now party Treasurer, will finally make it this time to the coveted top leadership position, or be again locked in the sibling rivalry with his elder brother M K Alagiri, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Karunanidhi’s assertive reply indicated that he was still very much in command despite his advanced age.

Striving to rebuild the DMK’s image that took a shattering in the wake of the 2G spectrum scam, Karunanidhi’s tactful reply was also to ensure that the Stalin-Alagiri face-off does not again re-emerge to dominate party affairs when he has been emphasising in all his recent writings and public meetings that only the peaceful creation of a ‘Tamil Eelam’ state through a UN backed referendum could solve the Sri Lankan Tamils’ long-protracted ethnic issue.

Only recently, Karunanidhi, along with DMK’s senior-most leader and General Secretary, the 90-year-old Prof K Anbazhagan and the D K General Secretary, K Veeramani, have again revived the ‘Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO)’. They have planned to hold the first conference of a born-again ‘TESO’ at Villupuram in early August, by when the Presidential election would have been over.

Stalin left for New Delhi on Wednesday evening to participate in a meeting with the top Congress leaders on the Presidential nominee issue, with the DMK being a key ally of the Congress-led UPA.

To a related query, Karunanidhi said the DMK had already indicated its stand on the Presidential polls issue. He had also conveyed his views to  Defence Minister A K Antony, when he called on him last month, the DMK patriarch pointed out.

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