Sibling rivalry puts DMK in a fix

DMK president M. Karunanidhi takes pride boasting every now and then that his is a party of disciplined cadres.

But of late, his lieutenants in the party are openly battling each other, in almost every district. Obviously, the fallout of the long-drawn sibling rivalry between his two sons Stalin and Alagiri to capture control of the party.

The rivalries between the brothers are expected to mount in the coming weeks as the party’s organisational poll begins.

The extent to which indiscipline has cropped in the party can be seen from the mass boycott of the Madurai district unit senior leaders when party treasurer M.K. Stalin visited the temple city, home turf of M.K. Alagiri, in April.

A majority of party functionaries loyal to M.K. Alagiri boycotted meetings of Mr Stalin who interviewed candidates for the DMK youth wing district organiser posts and also to address a public meeting to condemn the hike in power tariff by the AIADMK government. Mr Alagiri who returned from an official visit from China stayed back in Chennai to attend a private function.

At the instance of Mr Stalin, the DMK leadership issued showcause notice to 17 Alagiri supporters and expelled Madurai city district presidium chairman K. Esakimuthu from the primary membership of the party as he questioned the authority of party organising secretary T.K.S. Elangovan who issued the notices.

In Salem, DMK strongman Veerapandi S. Arumugham and state deputy secretary of the party’s youth wing R. Rajendran, who enjoys the backing of Mr Stalin, have been at logger heads for quite some years.

When party Salem district secretary Mr Arumugam tried to hold interviews for youth wing posts bypassing Mr Stalin, the party high command cautioned against such activities by issuing a warning through the party organ Murasoli in February.

Following the youth wing interview issue, posters depicting Mr Veerapandi as dictators Hitler and Mussolini were pasted across Salem city. Supporters of Veerapandi accused Mr Rajendran’s faction for the posters depicting Mr Veerapandi in badlight.

The supporters of former minister and Cuddalore district secretary M.R.K. Pannerselvam and former MLA Saba Rajendran clashed with each other in open during the May 30 demonstration against petrol hike. Factionalism has cropped up in most of the district units including Ramanathapuram, Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Pudukottai.

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