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DMK chief will have to wait for sonrise

india Updated: Dec 26, 2008 00:04 IST
MR Venkatesh

The decision to elevate MK Stalin to the position of DMK treasurer — which will be formalised at the party’s general council in Chennai on December 27 — was the result of a compromise.

Top DMK sources told HT that DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, citing his advancing age, had wanted to hand over the party presidency to K Anbazhagan, who has been general secretary for over three decades.

This would have cleared the way for Stalin, who is the party’s deputy general secretary and the state’s Local Administration & Rural Development Minister, to become the DMK general secretary, the second-most important position in the party.

DMK founder CN Annadurai had directed the party’s agitations and activities from that position.

However, the plan had to be shelved, as Anbazhagan declined to become the DMK president. “If my beloved ‘kalaignar’ Karunanidhi is not there at the top (as president), I don’t want to be in the party’s top hierarchy,” he told senior party colleagues. He added he was not opposed to Stalin becoming general secretary.

After several rounds of discussions, it was decided, as a compromise, to make Stalin the DMK treasurer, which is considered the third most important position in the party’s hierarchy.

Following this, the present treasurer and state Electricity Minister, Arcot N Veeraswamy proposed the names of Karunanidhi, Anbazhagan and Stalin, for the posts of party president, general secretary and treasurer respectively.

Karunanidhi will, thus, be re-elected DMK president for a record 10th consecutive time. And Anbazhagan will remain general secretary.