The internal feud in DMK on Thursday intensified with the high command ordering suspension of five loyalists of MK Alagiri, elder son of party chief M Karunanidhi, over recurring instances of "mischievous posters" in Madurai.
Two of them, PM Mannan and S Ezhilmannan, are the party's executive and general council members.
Earlier in the day, Alagiri met his father Karunanidhi at the latter's residence in Chennai a day after being warned to toe the party line or face expulsion.
In a recent interview, Alagiri, the south zone organising secretary of DMK, had opposed an alliance with DMDK in the coming Lok Sabha polls. Alagiri's opposition came after Karunanidhi had earlier said he would be "happy" if there was an alliance between the two parties.
Speaking about the suspension of the Alagiri loyalists, DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan said the high command had received information that despite party president M Karunanidhi's warning, once again "mischievous posters" had come up in Madurai. He did not elaborate on the posters' content.
"Mannan, Ezhilmannan, Mubarak Mandiri, Anbarasu Elango and M Balaji are suspended from all posts, including primary membership of the party since they were repeatedly engaged in activities bringing disrepute to the party despite Kalaignar's (Karunanidhi) warning," Anbazhagan said in a statement.
Amidst sibling rivalry between Karunanidhi's sons — Alagiri and M K Stalin — over who is the political heir apparent to their father, DMK high command had on Saturday dissolved its Madurai urban unit, replacing it with an ad-hoc body dominated by supporters of Stalin.
The party acted in the wake of a controversial poster being pasted by supporters of Alagiri, making critical remarks in the context of DMK's general council held last month here, which the former Union minister did not attend.