Despite repeated hints by DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi about retiring from active politics, his elder son and Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M. K .Alagiri on Saturday said his father would become the Chief Minister again in 2011 when the state is due to go to polls.

“Karunanidhi will become Chief Minister again in 2011,” Mr. Alagiri told reporters a fortnight after the Chief Minister gave hints about retiring from politics.

The DMK chief had said on January 15 that he wished to follow in the footsteps of CPI(M) veteran Jyoti Basu, Dravida Kazagham leader, the late Periyar and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

It was the second time in recent weeks that Mr. Karunanidhi had indicated about his exit from active politics. He had earlier hinted at quitting active politics after the World Tamil classical conference, slated to be held at Coimbatore in June.

Mr. Alagiri, considered DMK’s strongman in south Tamil Nadu, said he and his younger brother Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin “will work like double barrel gun and destroy the enemies in the 2011 elections.”

Talking to the media here on his occasion of his 59th birthday on Saturday, he said “We will work in the path shown by our leader Karunanidhi and make the DMK retain power.”

Poor feeding at temple, bus trip to certain routes free of cost and awareness on cleanliness marked the 59th birthday of Mr. Alagiri in Madurai on Saturday.

Free food was served at Othakadai Narasimhar temple, where Alagiri started his campaign in the Lok Sabha elections, to 3000 people.

Three buses had been engaged on contract basis to transport passengers from Mattuthavani to Arapalayam bus stand free of cost. A banner on the bus read ‘the service is offered free of cost for people to mark the birthday of M.K.Alagiri.’ Hundreds of people greeted Mr. Alagiri on the occasion.

“My wish is to make Madurai city a clean city. I have begun from here, with inauguration of modern toilets.” The Minister said and also urged the trade organisations and industrialists to help in making the city clean and green by participating in the construction of toilets and planting trees.

Maintenance of toilets would be done by various companies including TVS, Dalmia, and Kevincare, officials said.