MK wields stick, suspends son

DMK to take Alagiri back if he repents

MK wields stick, suspends son

Sibling rivalry in the first family of the DMK took a turn for the worse with the party high comm­and taking the extreme decision of suspending M Kar­unanidhi's Madurai-based eldest son and former Union minister M K Alagiri. He was also relieved of all party posts.

Karunanidhi was upset over Alagiri’s strident remarks on the DMK’s attempts to forge an alliance with the Vijayakanth-led DMDK.

A couple of hours after Alagiri’s impromptu 30-minute meeting with his father at his Gopalapuram residence over expulsion of his loyalists for alleged anti-party activities, Karunanidhi invited party general secretary K Anbazhagan to his residence, held detailed discussions and decided to suspend Alagiri.

After Karunanidhi's second son M K Stalin, who is said to be instrumental in disbanding the party’s Madurai unit early this month, joined the meeting, Anbazhagan read out a statement to the media, announcing the suspension of Alagiri, who was also the south zone organising secretary of the DMK.

Later in the evening, Karunanidhi seemed to adopt a conciliatory stand by indicating that Alagiri will be taken back if he apologised. The suspension will not affect the party’s chances in the Lok Sabha electrons, he claimed. When asked whether the suspension was to appease Vijaykanth, Karunanidhi said it was for media to guess.

The decision came two weeks after the DMK chief warned him of stringent action for opposing the alliance with the DMDK.

During an interview with a private channel, Alagiri had launched a diatribe against Vijayakanth, when both Karunanidhi and Stalin were speaking in favour of an alliance with the DMDK for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Anbazhagan also charged Alagiri with forcing party workers not to work, criticising disciplinary action taken against some DMK members and “directly involving in improper discussions, thus creating confusion”.

The party expelled five more Alagiri loyalists on Thursday for misusing provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act against own partymen in Madurai.

The latest development was seen as a serious setback to Alagiri as differences with his younger brother Stalin further widened, with both sparring over the issue of succeeding Karunanidhi.

The sibling rivalry started in 2007, when a survey projected Stalin as the most popular leader. The fight between the brothers further intensified as Karunanidhi at times hinted that Stalin could well be his successor.

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