October 20, 2016
Chennai: DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi declared that his second son, party treasurer and legislative party leader in assembly, MK Stalin is his chosen one – the political successor. He made this announcement in an interview to a Tamil weekly magazine in which he lauded all the hard work Stalin did ever since he entered public life as a teenager was back in the late sixties.
Stalin was campaigning for DMK in the 1967 elections and he was just 14 then. And perhaps knew that this was his calling to be as he graduated onto become a youth leader in the party and even today, at 63, he is the chief of the DMK’s youth wing and his admirers have given him the title of Thalapathy – commader.
“Stalin is my political heir” said Karunanidhi in response to a question from the interviewer of the respected news magazine, Ananda Vikatan, the latest edition of which hit the stands on Thursday.
Karunanidhi said that he was happy and elated that Stalin rose to become a leader in his own right after a long stint of hard work with dedication and discipline.
Almost the entire party likes him and he has earned the love and affection of the party rank and file through the sheer dint of his hard work, the doting father said of his favorite son and dismissed even the idea of mentioning about his estranged son MK Alagiri, who waged a long and ugly battle with his brother Stalin for the leadership mantle within the party,.
Clearly outmaneuvered within the party and in anger, Alagiri had bad mouthed Stalin and paid the price. In 2014, the month of January saw Karuanidhi throwing Alagiri out of the party, and has not yielded to Alagiri’s request to allow him inside once again.
And within the two years, Stalin has captured the party and has firmly has it in his grip with his loyalists in all places. There was no doubt left in anyone’s mind within the DMK, that it would be Stalin who would don Karunanidhi’s mantle , eventually.
This question was settled and Alagiri’s return to the party ruled out with Karunanidhi’s declared intention to make Stalin his successor.
Stalin is carrying on his task well and has caught the imagination of the party, especially of the youth, Karunanidhi said and added at the same time, the elders too are fond of him. Stalin has come to this position because of his hard work and he knows the rough side of the political life as well. He was detained under MISA during emergency and has been to jail on many occasions.
When asked if Stalin was his political successor, Karunanidhi relied in the affirmative and added, he has proven that he is capable of being the leader of the party.
Stalin had only Alagiri to contend with within the party. Time and again, Alagiri mounted his attacks and waged battles to upstage his younger brother, albeit unsuccessfully.
With Alagiri now completely out of the way, and leadership pf the party firmly within his grasp, it remains to be seen how Stalin mounts the political challenge to the well-entrenched AIADMK that has defeated anti-incumbency and got re-elected.