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Ask my father if I’m fit to take over, says Stalin

ON THE THRESHOLD: Deputy Chief Minister M.K.Stalin is considered the heir apparent to the chief ministership of Tamil Nadu. Photo: K.V.Srinivasan

ON THE THRESHOLD: Deputy Chief Minister M.K.Stalin is considered the heir apparent to the chief ministership of Tamil Nadu. Photo: K.V.Srinivasan  

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's recent hints at retirement fuelled speculations that Mr. Stalin might take over soon. However, the Deputy Chief Minister said he hoped that his father does not retire from active politics.

With Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi expressing his wish to retire by June next year, his son, deputy chief minister M. K. Stalin, is regarded the political heir apparent. Asked whether he was ready to take over the mantle of chief ministership, Mr. Stalin parried and said “You ask my father whether I am prepared and fit to take over as the chief minister.”

The said he hoped that the DMK patriarch would not quit soon. “My father always gives ‘rest to rest’ and I hope he will not retire from active politics,” Mr. Stalin said.

The 85-year old Mr. Karunanidhi had said he would go closer to the people after some of his remaining important ambitions were fulfilled. “I will come closer to the people, brushing aside politics and power,” he had said hinting at retirement which could well make way for Mr. Stalin.

Mr. Stalin’s possible elevation as chief minister received a fillip in May this year when Mr. Karunanidhi made him the deputy chief minister, entrusting the key portfolio of Industry besides General Administration and Minority Welfare, previously held by him.

Mr. Karunanidhi’s health has also been a concern as he had to undergo a major spine surgery early this year, which had rendered him indisposed for some time.

The 54-year-old Mr. Stalin’s elevation as deputy chief minister, a newly created post, was seen by many as a step towards his coronation as chief minister.

Besides his initial portfolios of Municipal Administration and Water Supply when the DMK government took over in 2006, Mr. Stalin, after his elevation, has been allotted key portfolios like Industries.

Last week, he was appointed head of the Cooum River Authority that will take up the much-demanded restoration of the highly polluted Cooum river, which runs through the city, at a total outlay of Rs 1,200 crore.

Assembly polls for Tamil Nadu are scheduled for 2011.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 1:09:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/Ask-my-father-if-Irsquom-fit-to-take-over-says-Stalin/article16852125.ece

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