Ending all doubts among his party cadre about a possible succession conflict in future, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday unequivocally said his younger son and party treasurer M.K. Stalin would be his clear choice for the party leadership after him.
The octogenarian DMK leader’s announcement stymies his older son, Union Minister M.K.Alagiri’s claim to the party leadership.
DMK MP Kanimozhi expressed her happiness over the announcement. “Recognition from the leader is a great reward. As a sister, I am happy for him,” she told The Hindu.
Broadening the import of his earlier remarks that Mr. Stalin would continue his work after him, Mr. Karunanidhi said: “If I get an opportunity — I reiterate it now — I will use it to propose only Mr Stalin’s name,” Mr Karunanidhi said.
He sought to clarify that his earlier remark that his younger son would carry forward his work pertained only to his party’s social programme, but later admitted that it held good too for the DMK’s political functions.
Talking to reporters after a meeting of DMK district secretaries, he said party general secretary K. Anbazhagan had already proposed Stalin’s name and he was just seconding his proposal.
Mr Anbazhagan, who was present in the media conference, said if he proposed Mr. Stalin’s name, others would also toe their line. “The party president cannot reject the proposal,” Mr Anbazhagan said.
Asked whether he would stay away from contesting in the forthcoming organisational polls, he said: “I don’t know whether I will be alive till then.”
The announcement gave much-needed clarity to the party cadre, amidst the impression of a succession war between Mr. Stalin and his elder sibling M.K. Alagiri, now a Union Minister.