K N Nehru, one of the close aides of DMK President M K Stalin and a powerful leader in the central region of Tamil Nadu, has been appointed as the party’s principal secretary, fourth in the pecking order.
67-year-old Nehru replaces T R Baalu who is now the DMK’s points person in New Delhi after being appointed as the Parliament Party leader. Baalu was appointed to the post by Stalin in September 2018 immediately after he took over as DMK President following his father M Karunanidhi’s death.
Nehru, a close aide of Stalin and secretary of Tiruchirapalli district DMK unit for three decades, will fourth in the pecking order of the party next only to Stalin, general secretary K Anbhazhagan and treasurer Durai Murugan.
“Since T R Baalu, who holds the position of principal secretary of the DMK headquarters, is also the Parliamentary Party leader, K N Nehru is appointed to the post,” Anbhazhagan said in a statement on Sunday.
The ascension of Nehru, who ensured a clean sweep for the DMK in Tiruchirapalli and near-by Perambalur districts in the recently held elections to rural local bodies, will also pave the way of ushering in the younger generation in the party. DMK’s performance in the region during Lok Sabha polls also worked in favour of Nehru.
With Nehru moving to the DMK headquarters in Chennai, the Tiruchirapalli district, which had stood by the Dravidian party for long, will be headed by Anbil Mahesh, a third-generation leader from a traditional family in the region.
Mahesh, who is very close to Stalin’s son and DMK youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi, is an MLA from Tiruchirapalli district. A formal announcement on Mahesh’s appointment is likely to be made soon, party sources said.
The sources said the DMK will witness more changes in the coming months as the party braces itself to face the 2021 assembly polls. “More young leaders will be given the chance to head the party in districts by bringing the seniors to the headquarters. These seniors will be used to strategize the party’s election campaign,” a source said.