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From Karunanidhi’s grave, Azhagiri sends a message to brother MK Stalin

The peace rally, as the Azhagiri camp described the march, is seen as an effort to position Azhagiri, 67, as a leader with popular support amid a renewed effort to rejoin the DMK.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2018 20:06 IST
CS Kotteswaran
CS Kotteswaran
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Azhagiri,MK Stalin,MK Azhagiri
File photo of MK Azhagiri, the elder son of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi, in Chennai.(PTI Photo)

MK Azhagiri, the older son of former chief minister M Karunanidhi, marched to his father’s Marina Beach grave with thousands of his supporters to pay tributes to the DMK patriarch.

“The objective of the peace rally is just to pay tributes to Karunanidhi and there is nothing political,” Azhagiri, a former union minister, said after paying homage at his father’s memorial.

The peace rally, as the Azhagiri camp described the march, is seen as an effort to position Azhagiri, 67, as a leader with popular support amid a renewed effort to rejoin the party.

Karunanidhi had expelled him for anti-party activities in 2014 after he rebelled for the party chief’s decision to project brother Stalin as his successor. Azhagiri had all along insisted that he would only accept Karunanidhi as his leader.

This stand had to change after Karunanidhi’s death and Azhagiri had recently made it clear that he had reconciled to Stalin’s leadership role in the party and asked for his re-induction.

Last week, he also threatened that the party leadership would have to face consequences if it blocked his return.

Stalin, who is expected to discuss the possibility with Azhagiri’s return later this week, however, appears to be less than enthusiastic.

Just this week, the DMK gave a south Chennai leader a rap on his knuckles because he had gone to the airport to welcome Azhagiri. A DMK statement said he was suspended for “bringing disrepute to the party”.

Azhagiri responded to the suspension as he walked out of his father’s memorial.

“There are 1.5 lakh supporters behind me in this rally. Will the party suspend all these workers from the party,” he retorted.

According to the police though, there were anywhere between 12,000 and 20,000 people at the memorial with Azhagiri, mostly from the southern districts.

“Our only demand is to induct Anjanenjan (brave heart, as Azhagiri’s supporters call him) into the party to strengthen the DMK. Our heart beats for Kalaignar and his DMK,” said K Mohan, DMK worker from Madurai.

The sibling rivalry between the DMK president M K Stalin and his brother M K Azhagiri is a setback for the party and if Anjanenjan (brave heart) Azhagiri is inducted back in to the party, our leader will strengthen the party, Azhagiri loyalist and former Madurai deputy mayor P M Mannan SAID. He promised that Azhagiri would strengthen the party once he is inducted.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 18:04 IST