The DMK on Tuesday paid rich tributes to its departed leader M Karunanidhi, remembering his contribution to the development of Tamil Nadu at a crucial meeting held in Chennai.
Karunanidhi’s younger son M K Stalin turned emotional as he paid tributes to his father and raised the issue of DMK patriarch’s burial at Marina Beach.
Addressing the first party executive meet since Karunanidhi’s death on August 7, Stalin said, “When Kalaignar was in his last stage I held chief minister’s hands and pledged to fulfill his (Karunanidhi) last wish to be buried in Marina Beach but Tamil Nadu government did not agree.”
“I give the entire credit of the victory (burial of Karunanidhi at Marina Beach) to the lawyers. If this wouldn’t have happened then surely I would have been the person to be buried along with our leader,” Stalin added.
Though speculations were rife that Stalin would be elevated to the position of DMK president at the meeting, no such decision was taken.
However, many DMK leaders assured Stalin of their support as he vowed to follow in his father’s footsteps and “defeat all barriers”.
Heaping praise on Stalin, DMK’s principal secretary Duraimurugan, said the DMK working president has all the capabilities to lead the party.
Duraimurugan said, “You have the heart of Anna and Kalaignar. There is no one to challenge you. The credit of placing Kalaignar next to his brother Anna goes to you,” HT further reported.
The emergency meeting came a day after Karunanidhi’s estranged son, M K Alagiri who visited Kaalignar’s memorial at Marina Beach, claimed that all loyal party workers and relatives are with him. The remark hinted at a fresh succession war in the DMK after Karunanidhi’s death.
Later on Monday, speaking to an English TV news channel, Alagiri said, “Even if I am inclined to rejoin the party, they (Stalin and his supporters) are not in a mood to let me in.”
“The DMK will dig its own grave if it does not take me back,” he said, adding nobody from the Karunanidhi family was interested in talking to him to facilitate a reunion.
However, Alagiri’s return to DMK seems to be a difficult task as party leaders are lending unconditional support to Stalin.
“We see Karunanidhi through Stalin. The party and Tamil Nadu are behind Stalin,” DMK legislator J Anbalagan was quoted by NDTV as saying.
Karunanidhi had expelled Alagiri and his supporters from the party in 2014 at the height of his fight with his younger brother Stalin over establishing supremacy in Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party.
A resolution paying tribute to five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi was also passed at the meeting, which was chaired by Stalin.