DMK chief Karunanidhi names younger son Stalin as his political heir
DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi has named his younger son MK Stalin as his political heir in an interview to a Tamil magazine, potentially settling the long-standing succession battle in one of the most powerful political families in India.india Updated: Oct 20, 2016 22:11 IST
DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi has named his younger son MK Stalin as his political heir in an interview to a Tamil magazine, potentially settling the long-standing succession battle in one of the most powerful political families in India.
The announcement, contained in his answer to one of the questions by Tamil Magazine Ananda Vikatan that hit the stands on Thursday, could also widen the rift between Stalin and his elder brother MK Alagiri.
Stalin has served as an apprentice under his father for over four decades.
“…It would be apt that Stalin is my successor because of his hard work, dedication and sense of purpose. Stalin has proved himself that he is the future of the DMK,” Karunanidhi, a former chief minister, said.
Asked how he viewed son Stalin’s performance as a political leader, Karunanidhi said he was extremely happy that he was carrying on the task admirably well.
Even as a youth activist in the party, Stalin has caught the imagination of the masses and particularly the youth, Karunanidhi said and added his son was very experienced in the rough and tumble of politics and had risen steadily, fighting every inch of his journey upwards.
That Stalin was his political heir was an open secret among DMK cadres, much to the chagrin of Alagiri, who periodically threw tantrums over this importance given to his younger brother, but could nothing against the skillful political maneuvering by his sibling who spent more time in politics, starting out as a young volunteer in his teens.
Asked if Alagiri’s absence would weaken the party, Karunanidhi downplayed this aspect and said that it was not prudent to think about something that is not there and carry with what is present and build upon it.
The succession battle played out ugly in the open some six years ago when Karunanidhi had hosted a world Tamil meet at Coimbatore, where Alagiri and his supporters raised slogans and left the venue abruptly.
Alagiri, a Union minister then, was expelled from the party. His repeated efforts to enter the party failed to materialise as Stalin quickly took a firm grip over the party apparatus and is in-charge of its affairs.