The present squabble within the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which carries echoes of the feud between Cain and Abel or the Mahabharata players, has been set off by the familiar trigger: the impending Lok Sabha polls (Editorial, “DMK’s intractable problem”, Jan. 27). M.K. Alagiri’s suspension from his father’s party, albeit driven by electoral considerations and calculations, will nevertheless dent the DMK’s prospects in the polls. Most of Mr. Alagiri’s supporters have gravitated towards M.K. Stalin in the last two years, leaving him with a small coterie of loyalists. His clout seems to have diminished further after the party high command dissolved the Madurai district unit and ordered fresh elections two weeks ago. Moreover, Mr. Alagiri’s poor political performance in the 2011 Assembly election led to Mr. Karunanidhi placing greater reliance on Mr. Stalin.
S.A. Jayatheertha, Hyderabad
Mr. Karunanidhi took a bold and timely step by suspending Mr. Alagiri from the party and managed to mitigate the potential fraying of the party’s ties with the DMDK. However, the DMK leadership must think about a long-term solution to the problem so that it does not rear its head just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. While Mr. Stalin is looking, for all money, to succeed his father, Mr. Alagiri has to work his way back into reserving a seat for himself.
Preethi Shanmugarajan, Coimbatore
A party which puts family interests ahead of the State is bound to disintegrate. The party’s growth trajectory over the years has risen thanks to its ability to remain as an ally of the winning combination. No doubt, the AIADMK will stand to gain directly from the DMK’s internal disharmony.
Ettirankandath Krishnadas, Palakkad
While Mr. Stalin has climbed the party’s hierarchical ladder by dint of years of hard work and dynamism, the same cannot be said of Mr. Alagiri. With Mr. Karunanidhi having clearly indicated that he will pass the leadership mantle on to Mr. Stalin, and now the suspension of his other son, Mr. Alagiri has no option but to reconcile himself to the reality and refrain from firing the occasional frustrated salvo against the party brass.
M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu
A formal break — Mr. Alagiri has been a habitual troublemaker for the party since his father expressed his preference for and began projecting his other son Mr. Stalin — was always on the cards. Though Mr. Alagiri was made the party in-charge for south Tamil Nadu, he abused the privilege by working against his own party peers, especially in Madurai. His attack on Mr. Vijayakanth, a prospective DMK ally, was a result of his own insecurity and served, perhaps, to be the last straw. Notably, at no point did Mr. Alagiri express any remorse for his breach of party discipline. Will the move to suspend him backfire on the DMK? Political experts seem to think so. However — make no mistake — the wily Mr. Karunanidhi appears to have had strong calculations in mind. He seems determined to send out a message to party cadres and put stress on zero tolerance to indiscipline. In looking to rope in Mr. Vijayakanth, the DMK chief is striving to set up a solid platform for Mr. Stalin, whom he sees as a future Chief Minister.
Ganapathi Bhat, Akola