“We are all together only,” say Alagiri supporters

The standoff between supporters of M.K. Alagiri and his younger brother M.K. Stalin seems to be continuing despite reports that amicable settlement had been reached in the presence of party president M. Karunanidhi at Chennai on September 24.

After the clash between the two groups in Madurai, some of the district office-bearers and senior functionaries of the party were ‘summoned’ to the party headquarters. According to them, the party leaders had expressed their wish to remain united and bury differences in the larger interest of the party. Agreeing to the diktat of the high command, the functionaries returned home.

However, when Mr. Stalin arrived in Madurai by a scheduled flight from Chennai on Thursday night and drove to Devakottai to participate in a function, the absence of Mr. Alagiri’s supporters visibly irked Mr. Stalin’s followers who had planned a rousing reception.

A DMK youth wing functionary said, “Our leader’s (Mr. Karunanidhi) recent address truly inspired all of us to the extent that we decided to bury differences and work together without embarrassing both Mr. Alagiri and Mr. Stalin. The party president advised us and also indirectly told Mr. Alagiri not to get annoyed over trivial matters. This would only weaken and bring down our image in public…Hence, we proposed to start afresh under one banner, but things did not seem to have changed with Mr. Alagiri’s supporters,” he fumed.

Earlier, the party treasurer was accorded a warm reception at the airport led by urban district secretary G. Thalapathi, former Mayor P. Kulandaivelu, former MLA V. Velusamy, youth wing coordinator Jayaraman and Theni district secretary L. Mookiah, among others.

A supporter of Mr. Alagiri however, had a different tale to tell. When asked about the conspicuous absence of Mr. Alagiri’s supporters to receive party treasurer Mr. Stalin, the office-bearer said, “Any leader who arrives here has to be received by us…Mr. Stalin was on his way to Sivaganga district…That was the reason. Please do not read anything more in our absence…We are all together only,” he summed up.