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Lok Sabha election result 2019: DMK’s Stalin emerges from father Karunanidhi’s shadow with emphatic lead

Early trends indicated that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led alliance, which includes the Congress, was leading in 34 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in the southern state

lok sabha elections Updated: May 23, 2019 12:36 IST
Venkatesha Babu
Venkatesha Babu
Bengaluru
DMK,MK Stalin,Karunanidhi
Kolkata, India - Jan. 19, 2019: DMK President MK Stalin speaks during the United India Rally, in Brigade Parade ground, in Kolkata, India, on Saturday, January 19, 2019. (Photo by Samir Jana/Hindustan Times)(Samir Jana/HT Photo)

For a long time MK Stalin, who even at the age of 64 was the youth president of the DMK, would be privately sneered at by rivals – internal and external – for failing to emerge from the shadows of his larger than life father M Karunanidhi.

Even in 2016, while the election was led by Stalin as Karunanidhi was ailing, the unexpected defeat in the assembly polls to the AIADMK then led by J Jayalalithaa meant that the blame was laid at his feet.

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Early trends indicated that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led alliance, which includes the Congress, was leading in 34 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in the southern state. This emphatic win of the alliance led by Stalin, who is fondly called Thalapathi (commander in Tamil), has stamped his hold on the party.

Interestingly, the state is facing a mini-assembly election too with 22 of the 234 assembly seats also going for polls, the outcome of which is likely to determine the fate of the E Palaniswami-led AIADMK government.

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However, early trends indicate that of the 17 seats where leads are available, the DMK is ahead in ten and the ruling AIADMK in seven. The ruling party needs to win at least eight of the 22 assembly seats to retain power in the state.

Congress and the communists, who rode on the coattails of the DMK, also seem to have done very well in Tamil Nadu. While Stalin will deservedly get credit for ensuring win of his alliance, it was not an easy task.

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He had to battle his brother MK Azhagiri for the leadership of the party, co-opt his half-sister Kanimozhi to his fold and ensure that seniors in the party like Durai Murugan and K Anbazhagan, who are peers of his father accept his leadership.

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If the current trends hold and the DMK-led alliance sweeps Tamil Nadu, the Congress will have to thank Stalin for preventing the lotus, the BJP’s symbol, from blooming in another southern state.

First Published: May 23, 2019 11:37 IST

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