Although effigies of M.K. Alagiri have been burnt for his utterances against M.K. Stalin, most of the cadre have been focussed on preparations for the February 15-16 conference in Tiruchi.

Despite provocations from supporters of M.K. Alagiri, the elder son of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi, loyalists of M.K. Stalin are lying low in Tiruchi district.

Although effigies of Mr. Alagiri have been burnt and posters condemning the former Union Minister for his utterances against Mr. Stalin have been put up in Thanjavur, Karur, Pudukottai, and Ariyalur in the last two days, most of the party cadre have been focussed on the preparations for the February 15-16 conference in Tiruchi.

This despite Alagiri supporters splashing giant-size, eye catching posters throughout the city hailing their leader on his birthday and holding a meeting to discuss its celebration in a fitting manner.

“Nothing will provoke us and we will remain calm. Our concentration is on the forthcoming tenth State conference of the party on February 15 and 16. This is the record fifth time that Tiruchi is hosting the conference and we want to make it a mega and unparalleled event in the history of DMK. The party cadre of the district is working with single minded devotion and we do not want our attention to be diverted by indulging in poster war or other unwanted activities,” say a cross-section of loyalists of Mr.Stalin.

The conference work is going on as usual and K.N. Nehru, chairman of the reception committee, visited the venue at least four times on Wednesday to monitor the work in progress and to take visiting party leaders from other districts around.

District secretaries K. Ponmudi (Villupuram), M.P. Saminathan (Tirupur), Sivalingam, in-charge of Salem district unit, and M. Chinnasamy, former Minister and secretary of the farmers’ wing, visited the conference venue on Wednesday and donated funds.

Many DMK members here object to being dubbed as Stalin supporters. “We are DMK cadre, who will always remain loyal to our Thalaivar,” they say. Moreover, a major advantage the party high command and Mr. Stalin enjoy here is that the district unit is under the firm control of Mr. Nehru, who has been at the helm of affairs for more than two decades.

The party men make light of the display of giant size posters in support of Mr. Alagiri. These posters were put up by a few disgruntled elements, who do not hold any position in the party, they say.