Revealing for the first time what transpired at the meeting between him and his elder son, M K Alagiri, that led to the latter’s suspension within a few hours last Friday, DMK president M Karunanidhi said Alagiri broke his heart when he said his younger son and heir imminent M K Stalin would die in three-four months.
“Alagiri has an inexplicable hatred towards Stalin for a long time. At the height of it, early on January 24, he came to my house and complained about Stalin while I was lying down. He used unwarranted and hateful words that enraged me. My heart breaks to even think of what he said. He said Stalin would die in three-four months. No father can withstand this, but I did because I am also the president of the party,” Karunanidhi told the media on Tuesday.
Charging Alagiri of going to the media with complaints against the party general council’s decisions, Karunanidhi said, “Now he claims he was seeking justice… How is it wrong for me, as the president, to question and condemn those who gave it in writing to the police to take action against the party’s Madurai district secretary, P Moorthy, under the PCR Act? The party has taken action against Alagiri as per procedure. Instead of explaining his position in person or in writing, is it proper to paste posters on the walls or give interviews?”
Alagiri was suspended from all party posts last Friday. Karunanidhi said a decision on the demand to expel him would be taken in the coming days. As per the party’s disciplinary procedure, suspension is the first step before expulsion.
In Madurai on Monday, Alagiri had toned down his criticism against the party leadership and even claimed that his statement that the DMK would lose all the Lok Sabha seats was said with good intentions. He denied reports that he had misbehaved with Karunanidhi on Friday morning.
Reacting to Karunanidhi’s statement on Tuesday, Alagiri questioned the action taken against him. “The general secretary had cited one reason (at the time of his suspension), but now the president is saying something else. Stalin is my younger brother, isn’t he? Can’t I talk about him? Will speaking about him lead to expulsion?” he said.
The sibling rivalry between Alagiri and Stalin has been the gravest internal threat for the DMK. With his diligent work over the decades, Stalin has managed to secure the support of the party cadres and second-rung leaders, which has emboldened Karunanidhi to openly declare him as his chosen successor. But Alagiri has never missed a chance to make clear his opposition.