Meeting after the electoral rout and in the middle of a succession battle within, the DMK today announced that M Karunanidhi would continue to lead the party and made no change to its alliance with the Congress.
The 2-day General Council, which began yesterday, also remained silent on replacements in the Union Cabinet for two of its nominees -- A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran -- who quit over the 2G spectrum scam. "The Dravidian movement continues to be led by Karunanidhi," a resolution passed at the Council said, in a clear message to the warring siblings party treasuer M K Stalin and Union Minister M K Alagiri against raking up the succession issue.
Supporters of Stalin had yesterday vociferously pitched for a greater role for their leader which was resented by Alagiri's followers. The issue was ultimately laid to rest by an upset Karunanidhi himself who reportedly asked the Executive meeting whether they wanted him to step down. The resolution also recalled Karunanidhi's role in the Dravidian movement and lauded him for his services to the Tamils and the state.
The top decision making body of DMK, a partner of UPA, also chose to remain silent on the issue of its ties with Congress, despite indications earlier that a section of leaders was against continuing the seven-year old alliance. The relations between the two parties have come under strain after the arrest of Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi in the 2G scam. The meeting, chaired by Karunanidhi, accused the CBI of 'bias' in opposing the bail plea of Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum case.
The party's General Council also backed Kanimozhi, A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, who bowed out of the Union Cabinet over the scam. Devoting a significant portion of the resolution to the 2G issue, the General Council said Kanimozhi had been kept in jail for long which it said was against the 'principle of natural justice'.
Karunanidhi has repeatedly made his displeasure known over the continued imprisonment of his daughter and had even blamed the Centre for her plight.
The CBI's act of "scuttling Kanimozhi coming out on bail is motivated and biased," the resolution said pointing out that the court before which the case was pending had itself asked the investigating agency whether it was its intention that the accused should remain in jail.
The resolution also said Union Law Minister Salman Kurshid, his predecessor Veerappa Moily and BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha had opined that till one was pronounced guilty 'there is no need to keep the accused behind bars.' It said Kanimozhi has been charged in a case "unconnected" to the 2G scam merely because she was holding a 20 per cent share in the largely family-owned Kalaingar TV, which is under the CBI scanner over its monetary transaction with DB Reality. Contrary to expectations, the general council did not take any decision on two cabinet berths allocated to the party as replacements for Raja and Maran.
After the recent cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that two berths have been kept for the DMK following which Karunanidhi had said the party would take a view on it at the general council meeting. Yet another resolution supported Karunanidhi's stand that the Prime Minister should also be brought under the ambit of the proposed Lokpal.