The spectrum scam issue has grabbed the national spotlight again, but the DMK is bogged down by a turf war within the Karunanidhi family.
The succession war between the two sons of M Karunanidhi - MK Alagiri and MK Stalin - overshadowed the party's general council meeting on Friday. The council is the highest policy making body of the DMK.
At the fag end of the meeting, party veteran Veerapandi Armugam questioned the younger brother Stalin's succession bid when "kalaignar" (as Karunanidhi is referred to) is still in charge.
It triggered slogan-shouting by Stalin supporters, who took some time to calm down.
Miffed at the leadership bid by Stalin supporters, Alagiri, who attended the first session of the general council in the morning, had boycotted the post lunch session. Later, at the media briefing, while hinting his preference for Stalin, Karunanidhi put to rest any talk of leadership change, asserting he was not quitting.
"Even my two wives are pressing me to retire. But I am not able to quit," he said. Playing down the incident, he added that the leadership issue would come up at the year-end, when the party's organisational elections are over.
The principal players in the succession drama are not willing to accept any change in the present power structure, which was formalised when the party was in power in the state.
Alagiri has managed to protect his turf from Stalin - the treasurer and head of the party's youth wing - by ensuring that the structural changes the latter proposed, was not accepted by the party. Stalin's proposal was to break up the bigger district units into smaller ones and fix tenures for the district satraps. Several senior leaders are believed to have opposed the proposals.