Former Union minister MK Alagiri was formally expelled from the DMK by his father and party chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday. Earlier denied a ticket to contest the polls, the latest action against Alagiri came in the wake of the political attention shifting to him from his brother and heir apparent MK Stalin.
Close on the heels of MDMK leader Vaiko seeking his support , more candidates across parties have trooped to his residence for support. In between his praises for BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi, Alagiri spoke to HT — the first interview since his expulsion. Excerpts:
Did you brace up for this sudden decision?
It was timed with the Madurai visit of the person who thinks he will be the next chief minister (Stalin)… It (the decision) was not taken by my father independently. He has succumbed to pressure. I know who is behind this.
Do you blame Stalin?
Everyone knows....I won’t take it lying down...I will file a case... As per party rules, if a member is suspended, he has to be issued a notice. But I was not given an opportunity to explain my position. A treasurer (Stalin is DMK treasurer) has assumed powers on his own. It’s a plot to capture the party. I won’t let it happen.
What will you do now?
Just because I have been dismissed, it does not mean we will quit the party... We are DMK members. That nobody can change. DMK was built out of our hard work. It is equally our property.
You were willing to apologise to your father?
Yes, I said that publicly after my father was willing to review his decision (against me). I did not get any notice of suspension. But he’s not allowed to act on his own. No communication reaches him. All I wanted was justice was done to the DMK workers who were punished because of me.
Why did you not launch a separate party as many expected?
I went by the wishes of DMK workers who wanted to save the party and not give up on Karunanidhi who is in their captivity.
Why are other party leaders coming to you for support?
They know who commands the loyalty of people.
How many seats will DMK win?
At this rate, if it gets one or two seats, they should consider it a big feat.