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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

DMK sibling rivalry hands 'advantage' to Amma

KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times  Chennai, March 18, 2014
First Published: 20:39 IST(18/3/2014) | Last Updated: 20:43 IST(18/3/2014)

The big fight in the DMK first family has turned into a battle within a battle, a no-holds-barred war-of-words fought at the centrestage of general elections 2014 in Tamil Nadu.

Former union minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's elder son MK Alagiri -- now irrelevant in the DMK's scheme of things -- has taken his fight against his younger brother Stalin to a new level.

Without taking Stalin's name, Alagiri has let his supporters and the voters in Tamil Nadu know that "Karunanidhi is surrounded by evil forces and has to be saved".

For the present, Alagiri is just content in meeting his supporters to gauge the situation and then, perhaps, strike – whether in the form of a party of his own or through ways and means to defeat his brother in the electoral field.

62-year-old Alagiri, MP from Madurai was suspended from the party on January 25. The DMK's former south zone organising secretary has been involved in a prolonged tussle with his brother Stalin for control of the party.

Karunanidhi preferred Stalin over Alagiri to run the party bringing the sibling rivalry out in the open.

Already, fans of superstar Rajinikanth called on Alagiri at his Madurai residence and pledged support to work in the field as per his directions.

On Monday and Tuesday, Alagiri went through a series of meetings, receiving his supporters and discussing with them the steps he needs to take – to mount pressure on Karunanidhi to give in.

Alagiri has left no one in doubt as to what his intentions were, even to work against DMK nominees in his stronghold to defeat them, said a Madurai college political science professor strictly on condition of anonymity.

"The DMK is in the hands of betrayers and evil forces. Even Karunanidhi does not know what is happening on the ground. The loyalists and hard workers have been ignored and opportunists given tickets," Alagiri thundered with an appeal to all his followers to "rescue the DMK from the grip of evil forces and save Kalaignar."

Loyalty is ignored and only money bags respected, he said adding only those who spent crores of rupees were given tickets.

"DMK will face a rout unless all the 35 candidates it named are changed," Alagiri said.

Stalin, on the other hand, has decided to ignore the activities of his elder brother and carry on with his campaign.

Such is the hatred of Alagiri for his brother that he even finds AIADK supremo Jayalalithaa and her leadership praiseworthy. 

"She changed district secretaries of AIADMK every month. Which is why there is strict discipline in the party," Alagiri said adding, that in DMK indiscipline rules the roost and betrayers given the pride of place.

At a time when Stalin has made his aversion to BJP very clear -- for his fear of losing minority votes -- Alagiri is singing the Modi-for-PM tune.

Alagiri also launched into fulsome praise for the BJP prime ministerial candidate when he met press persons at Madurai.

In an interview to a private channel, Alagiri said he welcomed Modi as prime minister for "he has administrative experience and also done good work in Gujarat".

"There is a Modi wave," Alagiri said, speaking of even a wave in Tamil Nadu.

Political analyst Cho Ramaswamy is sure that this big fight between the brothers will be advantage AIADMK and Jayalalithaa.

Coming out into the open during the general elections, the family feud will have an adverse impact on the DMK prospects. Its cadres are unhappy with the leadership that looked after only after its family and not the party, Cho said.

Karunanidhi introduced too many family members into the DMK -- his two sons, daughter and nephew.

"So what has happened to the Thackerays in Maharashtra will happen to Karunanidhi family too," he said.

"The immediate gainer will be AIADMK. The BJP too may also put up a better show," Cho added.

The DMK had walked out of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in March, 2013 over the issue of alleged human rights violations of Tamils in Sri Lanka.


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