Vowing to overcome any challenge to his leadership from within or outside the party, DMK working president M K Stalin today said he would “not be cowed down” by any flutter.
Stalin’s statement assumes significance as it comes amid his ongoing succession war with estranged brother M K Alagiri.
“I was raised by Kalaignar; (I) will not be cowed down by (any) flutter. I will overcome any challenges being created from within and outside the party with the help of the dear supporters of Kalaignar,” Stalin said in a letter to his partymen.
His remarks come at a time when Alagiri, expelled by DMK patriarch and their father M Karunanidhi in 2014 at the height of his fight with Stalin over establishing supremacy in Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party, has raised a banner of revolt.
The DMK’s first family had presented a united face when Karunanidhi was fighting for his life at a city hospital. Alagiri was present at the hospital and was also seen at Karunanidhi’s funeral.
On Monday, days after Karunanidhi’s death, Alagiri claimed all loyal party workers were with him and that the DMK would “dig its own grave” if it did not take him back.
In his letter, Stalin also said “political rivals” were more concerned about what was happening in the DMK in the post-Karunanidhi era.
“The central rulers (BJP) are sowing communalism and snatching away the state’s rights. Political rivals are showing more concern than us to know what is happening in our party in the wake of Thalaivar’s (leader - Karunanidhi) loss,” he said.
The rivals are nursing the fond hope that they can make a “mountain out of a molehill”, he added.
Claiming that Tamil Nadu had done well under the DMK rule, he alleged the ruling AIADMK had left the state in “shambles”.
Stalin said he took the responsibility of keeping the party intact in the wake of Karunanidhi’s demise with the “unshakable confidence” that the supporters will be with him.
Yesterday, at an urgent meeting of the DMK’s executive committee, the party rallied behind Stalin.
Long time aide of Karunanidhi and DMK principal secretary Duraimurugan had insisted that Stalin would soon take over the party’s reins as he had traits like “concern, skills and hard work”.
Though Stalin sits firmly in the saddle and his ascension as DMK president appears to be only a matter of time, Alagiri’s tough posturing may prod his supporters in Madurai and adjoining districts to come out openly against the new chief.
If that happens, the DMK, which has lost two successive assembly polls and failed to open its account in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, may encounter fresh electoral reverses in the elections next year.
(With PTI inputs)