"Some forces in the party are not allowing Kalaingar (Karunanidhi) to function as party president. They are harassing him," he told a large gathering of supporters in Madurai

The suspended Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and former Union Minister, M.K. Alagiri, on Monday caused a flutter in his party by saying he would welcome Narendra Modi of the BJP becoming Prime Minister.

“There appears to be a wave in favour of Mr. Modi for the country’s top job,” Mr. Alagiri said in response to a query from reporters after a meeting with his supporters in the temple city.

“I would personally welcome it if he becomes the Prime Minister,” the elder son of the DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi said, adding, he had met BJP president Rajnath Singh and others during his recent visit to New Delhi.

Mr. Alagiri has been suspended from the DMK for anti-party activities and denied ticket for the Lok Sabha polls.

Asked whether he would work for any candidate or party in the election, Mr. Alagiri said, “I am yet to take a call on this. I heard my supporters today. I will tour other districts as well and listen to their views.”

Speaking at the meeting earlier, he said the DMK could not hope to win the Lok Sabha polls if the party high command did not change the list of candidates already announced. For instance, Mr. Alagiri said, candidates in constituencies like Virudhunagar, Theni, Perambalur, Salem and Nagercoil were either new to the party cadre or had defected to the DMK from other parties like the AIADMK.

Candidates selection was based on factors like affluence or “proximity to a person in the party,” Mr. Alagiri alleged, indirectly referring to his younger brother M.K. Stalin. “I am scared whether the party president [M. Karunanidhi] is aware of all this,” he said, adding, under such circumstances, it will not be wise to think of quitting the DMK.

He asked his supporters not to come out with posters that hinted at his starting a new party.

“My prime duty now will be to save the DMK from the evil forces in the party and also protect our Thalaivar [leader],” he said.