No desire to become CM again: Karunanidhi

Wednesday 04th March 2015 06:44 EST

Chennai: Amid the growing clamour for his son M K Stalin to take over the mantle from him, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said he did not wish to become chief minister again. Karunanidhi had served five tenures as chief minister since 1969. His admission comes close on the heels of PMK leader S Ramadoss announcing his son, Anbumani Ramadoss, as chief ministerial candidate of the party for the 2016 assembly elections.

The DMK patriarch has had a six-decade long political career. "The speakers before me said I should become chief minister for the sixth term. I do not wish to do so. I am not driven by that desire any more. My desire is to ensure that the party is protected from rivals," he said, participating in the birthday celebrations organized by the district unit for Stalin, who turns 62 on March 1.

The 91-year-old leader was elected party chief for the 12th term in a row at the recent general council meeting amid growing demands for elevating Stalin in the party hierarchy. Even as the feud between his sons, M K Alagiri and Stalin, continued to pose a threat to the party's unity, the nonagenarian leader asserted his position and kept the power struggle at bay. While Alagiri was expelled from the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections on charges of anti-party activities, Stalin was re-elected treasurer for a second term in January.

"Till the last cadre remains, we will not concede an inch to rivals," Karunanidhi said, exhorting leaders and workers to protect the party for the welfare of society and for their own sake. The members should realize that the party was working for the betterment of socially and economically weaker sections, he said. "It would be ungrateful to forget that the primary duty of every cadre is to protect the party. This is the party which made us," said Karunanidhi, one of the founding members of the DMK, which came into being in 1949.

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