After facing its worst-ever defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, the M Karunanidhi-led DMK has undergone a thorough revamp of the party constitution with the suspension of over 30 of its members, some of whom may be permanently expelled.
Those facing the axe include former Union minister S S Palanimanickam and Rajya Sabha MP K P Ramalingam, who is a close confidante of the DMK chief’s son – M K Alagiri.
The DMK has also asked those who were suspended for explanations on why they should be kept in the party fold.
“If they do not give explanations within the stipulated time, it would be construed that they do not have anything to say and will be dismissed,” party general secretary K Anbazhagam said in a statement.
Three out of the 33 suspended members are district secretaries, including Palanimanickam who used to head the party’s Thanjavur Parliamentary constituency.
It was from Thanjavur that former Union minister T R Baalu contested the Lok Sabha elections and lost.
The action comes against the backdrop of a DMK committee – headed by former school education minister Thangam Thennarasu and senior leader Kalasapakkam Thiruvengadam – submitting a report on the party’s poll debacle.
District, town and Union secretaries from the Dharmapuri, Coimbatore, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Madurai and Salem districts were also suspended.
Based on the committee’s recommendations, the DMK also decided to carry out internal restructuring by increasing the number of district units to 65.
The DMK drew a blank in all 39 constituencies of Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry this Lok Sabha elections, while its rival, the AIADMK, emerged the third largest party in the polls with a whopping 37 seats.