“If there is an opportunity to propose a name for the post of party president, I will make use of it to propose the name of Stalin. Our general secretary K Anbazhagan has already proposed his name (in the past), so I will second it,” he told reporters after the party's district secretaries' meeting held at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters in Chenna
This is the first time in many years that Karunanidhi has categorically declared Stalin as his successor.
On Thursday last, Karunanidhi's ambiguous remark that Stalin would continue “social development work” after him, triggered speculation that he was finally anointing his son for the top post after him.
“The DMK is a democratic party. In the party elections, the president or general secretary is chosen by proposing the names of the candidates. And, the decision will be taken by the party general council, if there is a majority choice,” Karunanidhi explained.
Blaming the media for “misquoting” him, Karunanidhi said, “I had said Stalin will take over the social work from me. Some newspapers maliciously twisted it. If somebody had given an opposite view by believing this malicious statement it just shows their ignorance,” He added, “Even if I had said that, what is wrong? Shouldn't Stalin succeed me?”
Asked about the angry reaction of his older son and Union minister M K Alagiri that the DMK was not a “Mutt” (where the pontiff appoints his successor), Karunanidhi said, “In our party, even a unit secretary can contest the general secretary's post. If anybody wishes to contest they can.”
To a question as to whether he will contest the party president's post again, he said, “I don't know if I would be still alive then.”
The succession issue has been a bone of contention between Stalin and his older brother Alagiri. While Alagiri has opposed Stalin's elevation while his father was still in control of the party, impatient supporters of Stalin have been demanding that he be made the party chief or at least formally named as Karunanidhi's successor.
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