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DMK suspends leader after he welcomes Azhagiri at Chennai airport

Ahead of expelled leader MK Azhagiri’s rally, DMK leader in Chennai suspended for greeting him at airport

india Updated: Sep 04, 2018 19:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chennai
DMK,MK Stalin,MK Azhagiri
Late DMK chief M Karunanidhi's sons MK Stalin (right) and MK Azhagiri (front). (PTI File Photo)

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday acted strongly against a party functionary for welcoming expelled DMK leader MK Azhagiri at the Chennai airport, suspending him for “bringing disrepute to the party”.

The action against M Ravi, the area secretary of Velacherry in Chennai, came hours after he welcomed Azhagiri, who is set to hold a rally here on Wednesday.

“Ravi is being suspended from the DMK for bringing disrepute to the party,” DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan said in a statement. The 96-year-old leader is a contemporary of the recently deceased party patriarch M Karunanidhi and had facilitated the smooth coronation of his son MK Stalin as party president last month.

Azhagiri, who is Karunanidhi’s eldest son, but was expelled from the party in 2014, is upset with his younger brother Stalin for not letting him rejoin the party, in spite of his protestations of loyalty and a public statement that he is ready to accept his leadership.

The Azhagiri camp criticised the action against Ravi.

“Is conducting a peace rally for DMK leader M Karunanidhi an anti-DMK activity that invites suspension from the party,” tweeted Durai Dhayanidhi, son of Azhagiri in response to the suspension. He also shared the pictures of posters put up by Azhagiri followers allegedly being removed by Stalin’s supporters.

Meanwhile, PM Mannan, a former deputy mayor of Madurai and a loyalist of Azhagiri told reporters that “Annan Anja Nenjan (Azhagiri) will prove his might in Chennai on September 5, when thousands of cadres will throng the capital”.

A leader of the Congress, which is an alliance partner of the DMK, also said that Azhagiri should be taken back into the party.

“Azhagiri will teach a fitting lesson to his younger brother. All these days Azhagiri was against Stalin, but now he has openly accepted Thalapathi (Stalin) as the DMK leader. If Karunanidhi was alive, he would have forgiven Azhagiri. With by-polls approaching, the party should accept Azhagiri into the party,” the Congress functionary, who did not wish to be named, said.

First Published: Sep 04, 2018 19:38 IST