Chennai: In less than a week after DMK leader M. Karunanidhi’s death, his estranged son M.K. Alagiri on Monday signalled the resumption of the family feud over his father’s legacy.
The expelled DMK leader sounded the war bugle against his younger brother M.K. Stalin, who is the working president of the party, and claimed that party loyalists were firmly behind him but the latter was unwilling to take him back into the party as he was afraid of his emergence as leader.
On Monday, Mr Alagiri offered a huge garland at the Karunanidhi’s memorial on Marina Beach, along with his family, and told reporters, “I have come to submit my anguish before my father. You will know later what that is.”
Mr Alagiri said his “anguish” is related to the party and not the family. “All the party loyalists, followers of thalaivar Kalaignar, are supporting me. Time will show this,” Mr Alagiri said, warning that the DMK will “dig its own grave” if it does not take him back.
Karunanidhi had expelled Mr Alagiri and his supporters from the party in 2014 at the height of his tussle with Mr Stalin over establishing supremacy in Tamil Nadu’s main Opposition party.
While the media got excited over the clouds of succession war gathering over the DMK, the party itself dismissed the Alagiri missile as of no consequence.
“Only you, the TV channels and the other media, are giving credence to Mr Alagiri. He is not even a member of the DMK as thalaivar (Karunanidhi) had himself expelled him,” said DMK south Chennai district secretary J.
Anbazhagan, an MLA.The Karunanidhi family had presented a united face when the DMK stalwart was fighting for life at a city hospital. Mr Alagiri was present at the hospital and was seen at his father’s funeral.
However, the brothers’ differences were evident when both of them stood in different corners of a room at their Gopalapuram residence when Karunanidhi’s body was brought from hospital on August 7.
Party insiders insist that Mr Alagiri resorted to the Marina show as a last resort after failing to get the family prevail upon Mr Stalin to accept truce on his terms and help him return to the party.
Even after his expulsion from the party, Mr Alagiri continued to target Mr Stalin. He had mocked at his younger brother’s voter outreach campaign across the state and also condemned the party’s loss in the by-election held last year to former chief minister and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar Assembly seat. The election was won by was won by sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran.