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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

DMK's Alagiri challenges Karunanidhi on heirdom

letters@hindustantimes.com, PTI  Chennai, January 04, 2013
First Published: 19:46 IST(4/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:03 IST(5/1/2013)

Fissures re-emerged in the DMK — a day after party chief M Karunanidhi hinted that his younger son Stalin would lead the party — with his elder son M K Alagiri on Friday saying that DMK is not a mutt (a religious institution) to appoint a successor.

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"DMK is not a mutt," was Alagiri's response when reporters approached him at the airport here to seek his reaction to Karunanidhi's statement that Stalin would succeed him. Alagiri recalled that his father himself had said, "DMK is not a Sankara mutt".

Addressing party workers on Thursday, Karunanidhi - in the clearest hint ever on the issue-- had said, "I will work for the cause of uplift of the society till death. So, on the question of who after me, the answer is Stalin who is sitting amongst you and you should not forget it."

The 88-year-old leader had more than once hinted that Stalin is his political heir-apparent, an issue that had led to  rivalry with Alagiri, a Union minister.

After the 2011 state assembly poll debacle there has been a growing clamour for Stalin to take over the party reins.

Ever since 59-year-old Stalin was given prominence in the party and elevated as Deputy CM in 2009, there have been indications that he will succeed Karunanidhi. Alagiri had openly resented such hints, saying he would not accept anyone other than his father as leader.

The Madurai strongman, who is two years elder to Stalin, had a couple of months ago made no secret about his unhappiness over selection of party functionaries in his home turf, particularly in the youth wing headed by Stalin.

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