The agitation to condemn the State government for the long duration of power cuts on Tuesday in the city saw the coming together of functionaries of the two factions in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
Those owing allegiance to M.K. Alagiri and M.K. Stalin had parted ways in many towns in southern districts, including Madurai, and at a wedding function recently, Mr. Alagiri lambasted those who had switched loyalty to the opposite camp (Stalin). Without naming any individual, he termed them traitors and appealed to his supporters to condemn such opportunists. Hence, the sudden coming together by both factions baffled media persons. The party’s Madurai urban district secretary, G. Thalapathi (now being viewed as Stalin supporter), ensured that functionaries from the Alagiri camp also shared the stage. The leaders exchanged pleasantries and some from the Stalin side even hugged those in the Alagiri camp.
A senior functionary from the Stalin camp said that the party high command had clearly instructed them to bury intra-party differences. “The AIADMK is our target. We will fight only against our political opponent.” A functionary from Alagiri side said that “after our leader talked about the “black sheep within the party,” the high command had woken up.
A few months back, a DMK functionary, Esakki Muthu, was roughed up by Stalin supporters at a similar demonstration which created ruckus within the party. Only after the DMK president Karunanidhi intervened, the issue was resolved.
With elections for the Lok Sabha approaching, the party leaders said that the intra-party rifts would take a back seat.