Paving way for potentially far-reaching political changes, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary, Vaiko, on Sunday called on the suspended Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader, M.K. Alagiri, and sought his support for MDMK and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates in the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu.
However, Mr. Alagiri, who addressed a function at Rajapalayam later in the day, said that he would decide on extending support to any party only after discussing with his supporters.
Mr. Vaiko arrived at Mr. Alagiri’s residence at Sathya Sai Nagar in the city around 9.15 a.m. and was closeted with him for nearly 40 minutes.
Mr. Vaiko told reporters that Mr. Alagiri had invited him to his house during a recent chance meeting at the Madurai airport.
Stating that he had last come to Mr. Alagiri’s house in 1993, Mr. Vaiko said they shared memories of their good old friendship days, when Mr. Alagiri gave him audio cassettes containing old numbers. “I had bought him a [video] cassette of the English film, ‘Genghis Khan,’ from the U.S.,” he said.
Mr. Vaiko further said that Mr. Alagiri wished his party candidates well in the ensuing elections.
Later, while addressing a function in Rajapalayam, Mr. Alagiri said that several parties, including the Congress, had sought his support for the elections. “I can decide on the issue only after meeting my supporters,” he stressed.
The immediate need, though, was to ‘protect’ the DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, and the party. Stating that “only the affluent and outsiders” were given party tickets to fight the Lok Sabha elections, he wondered how the DMK could win.
Mr. Alagiri said that he would teach a lesson to the Puthiya Tamilagam president, K. Krishnasamy, who is fighting the parliamentary poll from Tenkasi in alliance with the DMK.
Stating that Dr. Krishnasamy had, in an interview, said that Mr. Alagiri’s suspension from the DMK would affect neither the DMK’s nor his prospects in the polls, Mr. Alagiri said, “He will realise it after the election. I have my relatives in his [Tenkasi-reserved] constituency.”
Unfazed by the DMK’s warning to its cadres against meeting Mr. Alagiri, his supporters accompanied him in over 50 vehicles to Rajapalayam. The party State literary wing secretary, S. Amudhan, said that the cadres were ready to follow Mr. Alagiri’s footsteps.