Azhagiri says ready to accept Stalin as chief

Expelled Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Azhagiri on Thursday said he was ready to accept his estranged brother M K Stalin’s leadership. This is seen as a rapprochement attempt two days after Stalin was elevated as the DMK president following his father M Karunanidhi’s death on August 7.

“We are willing to work together in DMK. It means I am ready to accept Stalin’s leadership,”Alagiri said in Madurai.

Azhagiri is the elder son of Karunanidhi from his second wife, Dhayalu Ammal. Karunanidhi had expelled him from the party over his alleged derogatory comments against Stalin in 2014.

Azhagiri had stayed away from the family until Karunanidhi fell ill in 2016. He started visiting Karunanidhi and renewed his relationship with everyone in the family except Stalin. Azhagiri waited for his brother to re-induct him into the party after Karunanidhi’s death. Stalin has till now not shown any interest.

Azhagiri had declared that Karunanidhi’s loyalists were with him after his father’s funeral. He had blamed Stalin’s leadership for DMK’s loss in the state poll and subsequent bypolls.

Azhagiri has announced a show of strength on September 5th at his father’s memorial. “We are expecting more than one lakh people at the rally. We are ready to join DMK. If we are not accepted, I will discuss with my supporters and will initiate further steps,” Azhagiri said.

Azhagiri made it clear that the attempt at rapprochement is not to ensure that his son, Durai Dhayanidhi, got a significant DMK post. “My son has already explained that he is not looking for any posts.”

Gandhigram Rural University professor G Palanithurai said Azhagiri realises he has no future without DMK. “If Azhagiri is not in the party, he is like a fish without water. So, he has decided to accept Stalin’s leadership,’’he said. “There is no doubt that Azhagiri has his own strength but his temperamental behaviour may also turn out to be a threat to the party and thus Stalin is reluctance to induct him.”

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 23:13 IST

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