Talk of Alagiri’s return to DMK a rumour: Stalin

“He was expelled from the party several years ago. There is no compulsion for me to answer such questions”.

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:29 am IST

Published - February 02, 2016 05:11 pm IST - Chennai

DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin interacts with daily wage labourers at Koyembedu market in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: M. Vedhan

DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin interacts with daily wage labourers at Koyembedu market in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: M. Vedhan

Seeking to put to rest speculations that his brother and former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri could return to the DMK, party treasurer M.K. Stalin on Tuesday said the talk could be a rumour.

“It could be a rumour. He was expelled from the party several years ago. There is no compulsion for me to answer such questions,” he told reporters when asked about “recent news” in a section of media that Mr. Alagiri, who was party’s south zone organisational secretary, may return to the DMK.

Hailed as “Anja Nenjan” (brave heart) by his supporters, Madurai-based Mr. Alagiri was the face of the DMK in southern districts. He was, however, >expelled in 2014 for anti-party activities.

Two days back, on the occasion of Mr. Alagiri’s birthday (January 30, 2016), his supporters splashed Chennai, Madurai and other key cities in Tamil Nadu with posters wishing him a great future.

Alagiri's career highs

Career lows

Held together the DMK cadres in south Tamil Nadu when Vaiko broke ranks with Karunanidhi in 1993 and floated the MDMK.

Arrested in connection with the murder of Madurai-based senior DMK functionary Tha. Kiruttinan in 2003. Though he was acquitted, his public image took a beating.

Helped the DMK win three successive Assembly by-elections in southern Tamil Nadu during 2008 and 2009.

In May 2007, when Tamil daily Dinakaran published a survey result projecting him as a poor successor to the party leadership than his brother Stalin, his supporters set fire to the newspaper’s office in Madurai killing three employees.

Ensured the victory of nine out of the 10 candidates fielded by the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance in south Tamil Nadu in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Alagiri himself made a debut in Parliament.

As Union Chemicals Minister between 2009 and 2014, he failed to attend Parliament on most days leading to critics lampooning him across the country.

Earlier, Mr. Stalin visited the Koyambedu flower, vegetable and fruit market in Chennai and also held a meeting with traders of the market at a hotel under his “Namakku Name” campaign that he began in September 2015 to mobilise support for his party.

He listened to the grievances of traders and assured them that it would be addressed if his party was voted to power.

He said he would “continue to make such visits after coming to power as well and work to resolve them”.

In his address, Mr. Stalin said the DMK regime had taken stakeholders into confidence during decision making “which does not happen now,” inconveniencing traders.

He also said his work as Mayor of Chennai Corporation during 1996-2001 stood the city in good stead during rains.

“Only because of my work and the achievements of the previous DMK regimes, I could stand here in front of you with pride, otherwise would you allow me to come here and interact with you?” he asked.

Alagiri was sent to Madurai in the 1980s by his father M. Karunanidhi to handle the DMK mouthpiece Murasoli’s edition there. While Murasoli failed, Alagiri flourished politically with the blessings of the party leadership. His younger brother M K Stalin, who had taken up party work early on in life, began to emerge as a political figure in Chennai engaging particularly with the youth.Unlike Stalin, he stayed away from contesting elections and occupying party post till 2009. Instead, he built a coterie around himself and managed to secure party tickets for them to contest Assembly and Parliamentary elections. As a de facto power centre in south Tamil Nadu, he sidelined stalwarts in the DMK like Tha. Kiruttinan and P.T.R. Palanivel Rajan. His loyalists started addressing him with the sobriquet ‘Anja Nenjan’ (Brave Heart).In September 2000, the party high command directed cadres not to have any truck with Alagiri after three DMK district secretaries boycotted the party’s Mupperum Vizha at his behest. In the Assembly elections next year, Alagiri fielded rebels and ensured the defeat of over a dozen DMK candidates including P.T.R Palanivel Rajan. But after a few months he was ‘pardoned’ by the leadership and resumed his growth journey.His political fortunes peaked in 2009 when he ensured the victory of the DMK candidate by a huge margin in the by-election to the Thirumangalam Assembly constituency. Accusations of money flow led to the birth of a new electoral vocabulary ‘Thirumangalam Formula’. Karunanidhi rewarded Alagiri making him the party south zone organising secretary. He began to develop political ambitions, contested the Parliamentary elections and became Union Minister for Chemicals in 2009.The Madurai strongman’s hold on the party started weakening since the DMK’s defeat in the 2011 Assembly polls. At one point he was unable to digest the rise of his brother Stalin and in January 2014 allegedly told his father that the former would die within three months prompting Karunanidhi to expel him from the party. Almost all his loyalists switched over to the Stalin camp making him a non-entity within the party.
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