Karunanidhi sticks to his words: ‘Stalin my successor’

Despite M K Alagiri, the elder son of DMK chief, showing his displeasure, M Karunanidhi stated that M K Stalin is his chosen successor. "If there is a chance to propose, I will use the opportunity to propose Stalin. General secretary K Anbazhagan has already proposed this. I will second this," said Karunanidhi after a meeting of district secretaries here on Sunday.

The party is expected to hold intra-party elections later this year where Stalin is likely to be elevated to the post of the president. This is the second time in a few days that Karunanidhi has made public his wish. Karunanidhi started on a defensive note, claiming that his comments on Thursday that Stalin would continue his work was in reference to how his family was supporting him in working for the society. However, it was maliciously interpreted by a section of the media that Stalin has been chosen as the party chief after him. "If anyone reacted based on that interpretation, it shows their own misunderstanding," he said when sought his reaction on Alagiri's angry retort that the "party was not a mutt".

However, soon Karunanidhi launched the offensive, asking why should Stalin not become the president of the party. He then said Stalin was his choice. But he quickly added that the party was not an authoritarian outfit, and it was the general council which would decide on the leader based on proposal and elections.

Over the years, Stalin has taken control of most of the party machinery, even in south Tamil Nadu where Alagiri's writ ran large. He seems to have the support of his step-sister Kanimozhi, whom he visited on Saturday to greet her on her birthday.

Karunanidhi's support for Stalin was also welcomed by the party's parliamentary leader, T R Baalu, who said the leader's statement was "a foregone conclusion now with a Magna Carta seal". In the recent past, Baalu has moved closer to Stalin. He accompanied Stalin in his trip to New York and Geneva to present the resolutions of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) to the UN Secretary General and the UN Human Rights Council late last year.

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