iconimg Tuesday, June 30, 2015

KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times
Chennai, May 18, 2014
Following the DMK's rout in Tamil Nadu in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, party chief M Karunanidhi's son MK Stalin on Sunday offered to quit all party posts but withdrew his resignation within hours. Party treasurer Stalin owned moral responsibility for the party's drubbing after he was attacked by his elder brother and expelled DMK leader MK Alagiri.

Alagiri had held Stalin squarely responsible for the party's failure to win a single seat in the polls even as its arch rival AIADMK led by chief minister Jayalalithaa won 37 of the 39 seats in the state.

However, Alagiri dismissed Stalin's offer to resign as "mere drama".

Speaking to the media in Madurai before Stalin had withdrawn his resignation, Alagiri on Sunday said, "All this is drama. He will pretend to give resignation letter. Someone will prevent him. Then the DMK president (Karunanidhi) will say he will not accept the resignation. You wait and see how long this drama is enacted."

Alagiri said unless Karunanidhi took charge of the party, its future would remain dim.

He said Stalin's strategy and campaign were all wrong, which led to the debacle.

Asked if he would like to return to the party, Alagiri said he would come back only if he was given respect and a responsible position.

On Sunday afternoon, news regarding Stalin's resignation broke and spread like wildfire. The DMK was not willing to officially comment, but a senior party leader had said Stalin had indeed offered to resign, but Karunanidhi was not willing to accept it.

Later, senior DMK leader Durai Murugan said Stalin had withdrawn his resignation.

Many DMK leaders say that besides other factors, the sibling rivalry has cost the party dear.

One month before the elections, political analyst Cho Ramaswamy had predicted that the two brothers would try to cut each other to size and defeat each other's candidates, but the big loser will be the DMK.

Alagiri was sacked from the party and none of his followers were given tickets to contest these polls, for which the former Union minister again holds Stalin responsible. Sources said Alagiri had been working against official DMK candidates via his followers.

Scribes assaulted

A group of men, believed to be DMK workers, thrashed television journalists stationed outside party treasurer MK Stalin’s house to cover the news of his resignation.

Later, the DMK apologised and said miscreants mingled with party cadre and attacked journalists.

It all began when one of the reporters mentioned the word drama in a piece to camera (PTC) going live. It infuriated some men within earshot and they attacked the reporter. The reporter was only quoting Alagiri saying Stalin’s resignation was a mere drama.

Times Now correspondent Shabbir Ahmed said at first there were some few people who began attacking them.

“Within minutes some 50 people barged into the premises of Stalin’s house and started beating us,” he said. Few journalists were roughed up and a video journalist was badly injured. He had to be taken to hospital.

Luckily for the few journalists under attack, Chennai ex-mayor who was visiting Stalin rescued the media persons.

Later the journalists went to Teynampet police station to lodge a written complaint.

(with PTI inputs)