Struggling to rein in former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, who has been levelling serious allegations against the manner in which the DMK was being run, the high command on Wednesday asked the local leaders and partymen not to have any truck with him.
Mr. Alagiri, however, remained unfazed. “I have done nothing wrong or have not worked against the party’s interests. I am only trying to set things right,” he told The Hindu.
Mr. Alagiri is not only critical of the DMK’s official candidates, but also openly expressing his appreciation of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, while the DMK leadership has been maintaining that there is no wave in favour of Mr. Modi.
As he is targeting the DMK leadership, particularly its Treasurer M.K. Stalin, almost on a daily basis, party general secretary K. Anbazhagan warned of disciplinary action against partymen who associated themselves with Mr. Alagiri or attended the meetings organised by him and his supporters.
“Mr. Alagiri, who has been suspended from the party and relieved of his party positions, has been holding meetings in the name of interacting with his supporters. His actions have confused the party cadre,” Mr. Anbazhagan said.
Questioning the high command’s announcement, Ramanathapuram MP and Alagiri loyalist J.K. Ritheesh wondered how the party could expect its members to dissociate themselves from Mr. Alagiri after heeding him all these years - whether it was Tirumangalam or Tiruchendur or Madurai West Assembly by-election.
Mr. Ritheesh said as a gift for his hard work, party president Karunanidhi had even appointed Mr. Alagiri the south zone organising secretary, a post held by late S.S. Thennarasu.
A former MLA and Alagiri loyalist from Virudhunagar district said, “instead of finding ways to bring about an amicable solution, the present announcement by Mr. Anbazhagan will only widen cracks.
“This will have a bearing on the Lok Sabha polls and the party will lose in the southern districts very heavily,” he said.
He said that if the party high command neglected Mr. Alagiri, the DMK might have to face defeat for sure. “I hope senior leaders have not forgotten the defeat of party veteran P.T.R. Palanivelrajan in the 2001 elections,” he said.