In a sarcastic reaction to his father and DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s hint that his younger brother M.K. Stalin would be his successor in the party, Union Minister M.K. Alagiri on Friday invoked an analogy once used by his father in a bid to pay him in his own coin.

“The DMK is not a mutt,” he quipped at the Chennai airport when reporters asked him about Mr. Karunanidhi’s announcement that Mr. Stalin would carry forward his work. And he added, for good measure: “This is what our leader had said, and what Stalin himself had voiced in a recent interview.”

Mr. Karunanidhi had used the words in the past to quell speculation amid a raging succession row as to which of his two sons would take over the party mantle.

He had implied that the party was not a religious institution for a successor to be anointed by the incumbent, but one in which consultation at various levels was needed. However, his elder son has used the same remark to imply that the party leadership was not something that Mr. Karunanidhi could assign to Mr. Stalin on his own. Mr. Alagiri’s remark came a day after Mr. Karunanidhi said it would be Mr. Stalin who would continue his work after him.

Meanwhile, followers of party MP Kanmozhi seem to be making efforts to give her public visibility by putting up posters and releasing advertisements on the occasion of her birthday falling on Saturday. Kanimozhi, however, has in the past sought to explain that she did not encourage any coterie or specific group of followers, but considered all of them as DMK supporters.