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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Kanimozhi is DMK's Parliamentary party leader

Former Union Minister A Raja from the Nilgiris constituency will be the Whip in the Lok Sabha while Tiruchi N Siva has been appointed as the DMK leader in the Rajya Sabha.
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 03:52 IST
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 03:52 IST

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Chennai: Kanimozhi Karunanidhi has been named as the head of the DMK Parliamentary party, an elevation that makes her the official point person of the party and its chief M K Stalin in national politics. Kanimozhi’s appointment comes at a time when the DMK is poised to play a significant role as a partner of I.N.D.I.A. bloc inside and outside Parliament, which is set to witness a numerically strong Opposition after a decade.

Veteran leader T R Baalu will be the floor leader in Lok Sabha, while Tiruchi N Siva will be the party leader in Rajya Sabha. The DMK has 22 MPs in Lok Sabha, the fourth largest party in the I.N.D.I.A. bloc after the Congress, SP, and Trinamool Congress, while its strength in Rajya Sabha is 10.

With the DMK being an integral part and a key ally of the Congress, Kanimozhi will work closely with the leaders of opposition parties from across the country who are likely to adopt a joint strategy on floor management in Parliament, especially in Lok Sabha where the Narendra Modi government doesn’t enjoy a two-thirds majority anymore.

The soft-spoken Kanimozhi’s elevation within the party hierarchy comes after she won the Thoothukudi Lok Sabha seat by a wide margin for the second successive term. She had been a Rajya Sabha from 2007 to 2019.

One of the popular leaders of the DMK, Kanimozhi is the party’s woman face and has been its active voice in Parliament with her half-brother and party chief M K Stalin often describing her as the “thunderous voice of Delhi.”

The new responsibility for Kanimozhi also comes at a time when there is speculation about the elevation of Chief Minister M K Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi as his deputy in the three-year-old DMK government.

Kanimozhi is one of the senior leaders of the DMK having taken a plunge into politics in 2007 by entering the Rajya Sabha. She was soon made the secretary of the DMK’s women’s wing and re-elected to Rajya Sabha in 2013. In 2019, she entered Lok Sabha for the first time from Thoothukudi.

Though Stalin and Kanimozhi did not share best of relations for a long time, Karunanidhi’s death in 2018 changed things as the DMK President began to accommodate his half-sister and give her prominence in national politics.

Stalin also stepped into avert a crisis in 2021 when his son Udhayanidhi decided to enroll women into the youth wing he heads, a move that was red-flagged by Kanimozhi. Eventually, Udhayanidhi was asked not to go ahead with his plans.

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Published 11 June 2024, 03:52 IST

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