M K Alagiri revolt not more than a whimper

CHENNAI: The smooth ascension of M K as DMK president on Tuesday shows that the challenge posed by his older brother is mere bluster, without substance.
Stalin is in complete control of the party – not even a single general council member or district secretary of DMK is backing Alagiri. “Leave the leaders, not even the cadres are with him. His support base is confined to a handful of people around him,” said analyst M Kasinathan. isn‘t keeping quiet either. In an effort to “poach” DMK functionaries, he and his lieutenants touched base with all DMK districts. tnn

Their response was cold though. His attempt to win over sidelined former minister Pongalur Palanisamy too failed. Palanisamy not only asked Alagiri to stop calling him, but also informed Stalin‘s office about the development.

Abuses showered by Alagiri, and at times his sidekick late Pottu Suresh, are fresh in the minds of many DMK leaders, said a senior DMK leader.

The DMK functionaries and cadres don‘t want to desert a winning camp. They too seem to be ready for a long haul, perhaps till the 2021 assembly elections.

For the show of strength in Chennai on September 5 to regain some lost ground, Alagiri is mobilising crowd from as far as border. But how many of them would be DMK cadres is to be seen.

Since ‘s death, Alagiri has kept changing his stand often. First, he claimed he is the real DMK. Next, he said loyal DMK people are with him. After revolt proved futile, he is seeking re-entry into the party. “If he is confident of his strength, let him contest in the forthcoming Thirupparankundram byelection in his backyard and prove his mettle,” said a Stalin loyalist, reflecting his leader‘s thoughts.

Much credit for the DMK‘s present unity should go to Karunanidhi and his farsightedness. He has often been accused of loving his family more than the party, but his expulsion of Alagiri from the party in 2014 – though at the behest of Stalin – and his refusal to readmit him despite pressure from many family members prove that Karunanidhi was more concerned about his party‘s unity than his family‘s unity.

Stalin refuses to discuss the Alagiri factor as he does not consider it a threat, said a DMK leader. “Since Alagiri‘s expulsion, the two brothers have not spoken to each other even once. A few days ago, a family member spoke to Stalin to reinstate Alagiri. Stalin‘s response was a firm no. He said he was ready to accept him as a family member, but not as a party colleague,” he added.

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