“We will celebrate the birthday of our leader Anja Nenjan [the fearless] in a grand manner as in the past,” one of his supporters of M.K. Alagiri said here on Friday. Mr.Alagiri was named after Pattukottai Alagiri, one of the tallest Dravidian leaders.

Even as the supporters led by former deputy Mayor P. M. Mannan, K. Isakkimuthu and others were inspecting the Raja Muthiah Mandram, where the birthday celebrations are to take place, the news of his suspension from the party spread.

The supporters said Mr. Alagiri would distribute welfare assistance to the needy on January 30. “We have planned to give dhotis and saris to 10,000 persons, sewing machines, iron box sets to 64 persons and among other welfare assistance on the occasion marking the leader’s 64 birthday. A cake weighing 64 kg would be cut and a grand lunch has been arranged for 10,000 persons. Asked to comment on the news of the suspension of Mr. Alagiri, by the party high command, the supporters, who initially hesitated responded, saying “we have faced similar actions in the past.. It will be overcome by our leader. Now, we are here to ensure that things are intact for the birthday day celebrations,” they said.

Mr. Isakkimuthu, a senior DMK functionary, who was suspended from the party recently, said that even now the party president M. Karunanidhi can resolve the issue by bringing Alagiri and Stalin to the table for a dialogue. There was no need for any other intervention. In an emotional tone, he further recalled, “Fourteen years ago, Mr. Alagiri was suspended just a week before his 50 birthday. We celebrated it with all fanfare.

Though huge posters were pasted hailing Mr. Alagiri all over the city ahead of his birthday, his residence in Satya Sai Nagar, which normally has huge followers on important occasions (like his birthday), wore a deserted look with just security personnel guarding the house. Mr. Alagiri is expected to arrive here on Saturday.