Chennai: DMK treasurer and heir-apparent M K Stalin denied reports that he was in the race for the position of party general secretary, a post currently held by veteran leader K Anbazhagan. Earlier, there was buzz in DMK circles that Stalin would not file his nomination for the post of treasurer, which he holds now, as a mark of protest. Stalin dismissed these as 'rumours' and accused the media of spreading such speculation.
The DMK's organisational polls are underway and these reports came ahead of the the filing of nominations, scheduled on January 7 for the top three positions in the party - president, general secretary and treasurer. There was drama at the residence of Stalin, as scores of his supporters, including many district secretaries dropped in.
In May last year too, there was a similar resignation drama by Stalin following the DMK's rout in Lok Sabha polls. He was the face of the party's poll campaign then. Although he owned up responsibility, he withdrew his resignation following pressure from his supporters. His estranged elder brother M K Alagiri who has been expelled from the DMK for anti-party activities, indicated he might consider re-joining DMK. "I shall think about returning to the DMK if the party mends its ways," said Alagiri. The Madurai strongman, who had called Stalin's resignation a drama last year, however, chose not to respond this time.
Some call the developments a trial balloon by Stalin, while others call it mischief by his loyalists. A senior journalist said, "Stalin now feels its time for him to have absolute power over the party as his aged father is not the same active president any longer, and this drama is to gauge the mood in the party."
A senior DMK functionary says, "Stalin is already in control of the party. He doesn't have to become general secretary to assert himself. However, a sycophantic group close to him indulges in spreading rumours to mount pressure on our leader (M Karunanidhi) to give in. They don't believe in democratic system."
Though DMK chief Karunanidhi, now 91 year old, groomed his younger son Stalin to be his successor, sources close to him say he's not yet ready to handover the baton to him. His elder son Alagiri too nurtured ambitions to head the party, and though he is out of the party now, the sibling rivalry has been a huge embarrassment to the grand old man of Indian politics.