The DMK on Friday temporarily suspended its chief M Karunanidhi’s son and former Union minister MK Alagiri from the party’s primary membership and all posts for "indiscipline".
"Alagiri's suspension will not affect the DMK," party chief Karunanidhi said after the move.
Speaking to NDTV in the evening, Alagiri said there was no democracy in the DMK. “I suspect the DMK president has been blackmailed by somebody. I asked for justice for those suspended. The party has suspended me,” he added.
DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan said in a statement that Alagiri was creating confusion by urging party cadres not to work and criticising the disciplinary action taken by the party against some members for their anti-party activities.
“His continuation in the party is not proper and would destroy the party discipline,” he said.
Alagiri had recently been given a veiled warning by his father after he opposed an alliance between DMK and the DMDK, a regional party headed by former actor Vijayakanth, who is also being wooed by the BJP.
The suspended leader had told a TV channel that he did not consider captain (as Vijayakanth is called by his partymen) a politician. Karunanidhi had termed Alagiri’s remarks about the DMDK chief as regrettable and condemnable.
His suspension is expected to soothe the ruffled DMDK leadership which is meeting on February 2 to decide on the poll alliance.
Alagiri, 62, MP from Madurai, is the DMK chief's older son and has been involved in a prolonged tussle with his brother MK Stalin for control of the party.
He holds sway in the southern part of the state and five of his supporters in the disbanded Madurai unit of the party had been suspended for putting up his posters.
Alagiri had told Puthiya Thalaimurai, a Tamil news channel that except his father he would not accept anyone as the DMK chief. He had also said that a lot of decisions were taken by the DMK top brass without his congnisance.
Karunanidhi had then issued a statement warning anyone who acts against the party's discipline will be thrown out of the party.
The action against Alagiri seemed to have enthused supporters of the Stalin camp.
DMK legislator J Anbazhagan, perceived to be Stalin supporter, welcomed the decision, saying Karunanidhi took the "right decision."
"DMK has practiced Politics in a Democratic way. In d ryt time @kalaignar89 (Karunanidhi's twitter handle) has taken a good decision. #Alagiri," he posted on micro-blogging website Twitter.
Madurai-based PM Mannan, a supporter of Alagiri and one of his five loyalists suspended recently for anti-party activities, however, said "it is a high command decision. We abide by it."
Dravidar Kazhagam, often considered the 'mother party' of DMK, also welcomed the move, saying discipline in any party was primary. DMK was founded by C N Annadurai after his split from DK, headed by rationalist leader EV Ramasamy.
DMDK leaders refrained from making a direct comment on the development in DMK, saying it was 'captain' who will take the final call on alliance.
While a section of partymen supported aligning with BJP as it could bring DMDK on to the national arena, some others wanted it to tie-up with DMK to "teach a lesson to AIADMK," said a senior leader considered close to Vijayakanth.
While AIADMK and DMDK had aligned for the 2011 general elections against DMK, they had later parted ways following a bitter argument between chief minister Jayalalithaa and Vijayakanth in the state assembly.
The AIADMK supremo had later regretted her party's alliance with DMDK.