Family soap opera ends with tears for Kanimozhi

The DMK’s general council turned out to be a soap opera focusing on the party’s first family.

A petulant son boycotted the afternoon session, while his younger brother played down loyalists’ demands for his elevation. In the closing moments, a woman speaker broke down at the mike referring to jailed Kanimozhi and parents M. Karunanidhi and Rajathi Ammal wiped their tears on the dais.

DMK senior Kovai Mu. Ramanathan, set the mood for the strident calls for Stalin’s elevation. “The party is more important than all of us. Please touch your conscience and tell us who will lead the party after you”, said the octogenarian looking at Karunanidhi.

At once, a majority of the 1800-odd general council audience roared, ‘thalapathi, thalapathi’, the title for Mr Stalin. Looking visibly embarrassed, papa Karunanidhi announced lunch break while belligerent brother Alagiri left the pandal with a frown. He did not return.

While sources said Alagiri drove away to his Madurai mansion with a couple of faithfuls in tow, Mr Karunanidhi sought to play down the incident saying that Mr Alaigiri had attended the morning session, after all.

Stalin exploited the exit of his angry annan by insisting in his speech that he had never hankered for any post and preferred to be an ordinary party worker.

“If any of my supporters had in their over enthusiasm sought my promotion, please ignore them. Posts and power are not necessary for me to fight for the party’s cause. In fact I would like the party to be more aggressive in its battle against Jayalalithaa and we should fill the jails as a form of protest”, he declared, seeking to veer back the council’s focus to fighting the AIADMK regime, particularly the police action on the land-grab front, instead of staying hooked to the succession question.

For the first time in the DMK history, Karunanidhi had his wife shared the dais at such an important meet. It was obvious that Rajathi Ammal’s presence behind his seat was meant to make a political statement on behalf of jailed daughter Kanimozhi.

“She was all over the place during our Semmozhi Maanadu in this very same Coimbatore and now finding such a perky and pleasant Kanimozhi wallowing in prison brings tears to my eyes”, said Vijaya Thaayanban and started to sob.

Karunanidhi and Rajathi Ammal were seen wiping tears. And Sarguna Pandian and Rajya Sabha MP Vasanthi Stanley wanted the women’s wing to stage a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Kanimozhi’s plight.

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