Is Alagiri eyeing a return to DMK?

Is Alagiri eyeing a return to DMK?

Expelled leader said true followers of Karunanidhi are with him

In an act of political posturing that brought out the differences within the DMK first family to the fore again, expelled party leader M K Alagiri on Monday claimed that “true and loyal” followers of his father M Karunanidhi were with him.

Alagiri's comments are being seen as an attempt to exert pressure on his younger brother M K Stalin, who was identified by Karunanidhi as his political successor, to re-induct him into the DMK.

“I prayed to my father about my grouse and you will come to know (what the grouse was) later. My leader Kalaignar Karunanidhi's true and loyal supporters are with me and all the supporters across Tamil Nadu are supporting me. Time will answer all the questions,” said Alagiri, who was once South Zone Organising Secretary of the DMK.

“My grouse is with regard to the DMK,” he told reporters after paying respects at Karunanidhi's grave on the Marina Beach along with his family.

Political observers said they could not help but wonder about the uncanny resemblance of Alagiri's style of airing his grievance with the "samadhi" politics of the then AIADMK rebel O Panneerselvam, who also poured his heart out after meditating at the burial ground of his leader J Jayalalithaa.

Alagiri, however, replied in monosyllables on whether he would be inducted into the DMK and whether Tuesday's executive committee meeting of the party would discuss Karunanidhi's successor.

The DMK leaders dismissed Alagiri's comments as a “stunt aimed at seeking publicity” since the top brass of the party is against any patch-up between him and Stalin. Party leaders asked how can Alagiri's comments be taken as a rebellion or challenging the DMK leadership when he is not even a primary member of the party.

They also viewed Alagiri's comments as an attempt to exert pressure on his younger brother for a patch-up. Alagiri was sacked from the party by Karunanidhi in 2014 for bringing “disrepute” to the DMK after the former criticised Stalin and his leadership.

“Alagiri admitted that he was not in the DMK and he was not sure whether he will be inducted into the DMK. Then how can it be called a rebellion? Our Thalaivar (Karunanidhi) has made it clear umpteen times that Stalin would take over his place as DMK chief,” a senior party leader said.

The timing, according to DMK leaders, is also suspect since Alagiri's visit to Karunanidhi's burial site has come a day before the DMK executive committee is to meet to condole the party president's death and is expected to fix the date for Stalin's elevation.

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