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Alagiri loyalists suspended from DMK

Special Correspondent
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Posters that appeared in Madurai are branded as part of “violation of party discipline’’

The controversial poster that led to a series of punitive actions by DMK against a section of its office-bearers in Madurai.— Photo: S. James
The controversial poster that led to a series of punitive actions by DMK against a section of its office-bearers in Madurai.— Photo: S. James

: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Thursday suspended five members of the party's Madurai city unit who were considered loyalists of former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri for “anti-party activities.”

In a statement, DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan said P.M. Mannan, member of the executive, S. Ezhilmannan, general council member, Mubarak Manthiri, Anbarasu Ilango and M. Balaji were suspended with effect from Thursday (January 9) and relieved of their responsibilities.

The action follows the pasting of posters in Madurai, tarnishing the image of the party and in violation of the party discipline. A week ago, DMK president M. Karunanidhi condemned the development and warned of strong action against those who indulged in such a practice.  

Even after his statement, it was brought to the notice of the party headquarters that “mischievous posters’’, which sought to portray the party in poor light, had again been pasted.

Hours before the statement was issued, DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin met Mr Karunanidhi at Gopalapuram and an aide of Mr Stalin termed the meeting as “routine’’.

Trouble started brewing early this month when Anbarasu Ilangovan, deputy organiser of the party’s wing for art, literature and rationalism, pasted posters claiming that a rival general council meeting of the party would be held in Chennai on January 30 — Mr. Alagiri’s birthday — though the official meet was held on December 15 itself.

The poster prompted Mr. Anbalagan to disband the Madurai urban district unit dominated by Mr. Alagiri’s supporters.

In its place, a six-member ad-hoc committee, comprising a majority of four members from M.K. Stalin’s camp, was appointed to manage party affairs until the election of new office-bearers. A day later, S. Ezhil Maran, party’s general council member, stuck another set of posters across the city urging people not to miss Mr. Azhagiri’s television interview. The interview struck a blow to the party’s plan of aligning with Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam as Mr. Alagiri lashed out at actor-turned-politician Vijayakant.

Asked for his reaction, Mr. Mannan said: “At this moment, I do not want to say anything more than that I would continue to work under the control of the party and as per the directions of our ‘Anja Nenjan’ M.K. Alagiri.”

K. Thalapathi, head of the six-member ad-hoc committee and a supporter of M.K. Stalin, claimed that he had no role in the suspension of the five party workers.

“The decision has been taken by the high command because the workers did not show any remorse though our leader Kalaignar himself sent a terse warning against bringing disrepute to the party. In fact, many more should be punished for indiscipline, but the party has chosen to act only against five…,” Mr. Thalapathi said.

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