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Will remove all hurdles, says Stalin day after brother Azhagiri claims support of Karunanidhi loyalists

MK Stalin has all the capabilities to lead the party, DMK principal secretary Duraimurugan said at the executive committee meeting.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2018 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Chennai, Hindustan Times
DMK,Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam,DMK executive committee meeting
DMK working president MK Stalin at a tribute to late DMK chief M Karunanidhi at an event organised by South Indian Artists Associations in Chennai, on Monday.(PTI)

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s working president MK Stalin said on Tuesday he would follow in his father M Karunanidhi’s footsteps and “defeat all barriers” as senior party leaders assured him of their support during a crucial meeting.

“It is unbelievable to conduct an executive committee meeting without Thailavar. While you workers have lost your leader, I have lost my mentor and father,” Stalin said at the first meeting of the party’s executive committee held after Karunanidhi’s death on August 7.

He said the meeting without Karunanidhi was “unbelievable” and it hurt that they failed to form the government when he was still alive.

“People are lauding me for getting a direction from the Madras High Court to bury Karunanidhi in Marina Beach. However, the credit should go to the legal wing of the DMK,” an emotional Stalin said.

“If we failed in the legal battle, I could have been buried in Marina instead of Karunanidhi,” he added.

The meeting was held a day after MK Azhagiri, Karunanidhi’s estranged son who was expelled from the DMK, claimed to have the support of the loyalists of his late father, in what was seen as a succession pitch.

Azhagiri, a former Union minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, was sacked by his father ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 for alleged indiscipline amid a turf war with Stalin over establishing a supremacy in Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party.

His cryptic comments about differences with the “party” and not the “family” on Monday created a buzz. By evening, posters with his image had been splashed all over Madurai, the temple town in Tamil Nadu considered his bastion, referring to a new party the Kalaignar DMK.

The DMK’s principal secretary Duraimurugan said Stalin, who was groomed by Karunanidhi as his successor, has all the capabilities to lead the party.

“You have the heart of Anna and Kalaignar. There is no one to challenge you. The credit of placing Kalaignar next to his brother Anna goes to you,” Duraimurugan said referring to Karunanidhi’s burial next to his mentor CN Annadurai at Chennai’s Marina Beach.

A resolution paying tribute to Karunanidhi was passed at the executive committee’s meeting, which was chaired by Stalin.

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 12:55 IST