In what could spell trouble for the DMK and boost the BJP-led alliance’s prospects in Tamil Nadu, M K Alagiri, DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s son who has been expelled from the party, Wednesday endorsed Narendra Modi’s candidature for the PM’s post, saying he was a “good administator” and there was a “wave” in his favour.
Alagiri also asserted that the DMK would be routed in the Lok Sabha elections and relegated to third place, after the AIADMK and the BJP-led alliance. Asked how many seats the DMK would get, Alagiri said, “Three to five, or maximum five or six. Even five or six, I have my doubts. DMK will be relegated to the third position.”
The 63-year-old Madurai strongman also accused his brother M K Stalin of “blackmailing” his father and forcing him to act against him. “Everything will come out one day. He will be caught and exposed,” he said, adding that Karunanidhi had become Stalin’s “slave”. Alagiri, however, said he had no plans to float a separate party and hoped the DMK would take him back after the elections.
Asked if he would support any party, Alagiri said, “BJP is going strong. Talks are on… the chances are bright. Tomorrow, I am going to Coimbatore to attend a marriage. There are chances of me meeting Modi there. If he invites me, I will meet him.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Alagiri said, “He (Modi) is running a good government. If he becomes the prime minister, it will be good for the country. He is a great man, a good administrator. He does not differentiate between Hindu, Muslim and Christian. He takes everyone along. He is doing good for the people of Gujarat.”
On the Gujarat riots baggage that Modi carries, Alagiri said, “If that is the case, how can he gain such acceptability. Everybody is saying there is a wave in his favour.” Asked if he believed there was a Modi wave, he said. “Definitely. Everybody is saying, particularly youngsters, are chanting Modi, Modi. It is not about believing, my political experience says so.”
Alagiri’s support comes at a time when the DMK is targeting Modi in an attempt to shore up its Muslim support base, and the BJP-led alliance seems to have a realistic chance of denting both the DMK and AIADMK vote banks and picking up some seats.
Alagiri said he was in favour of a Congress-DMK alliance, but Stalin opposed it and the party would pay the price for his decision. On the recent controversy over the book on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Alagiri said Singh is “a good man” but “kept like a doll” by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
As the former south zone organisational secretary of the DMK, Alagiri is considered to have cadre support in the southern districts of the state comprising the Lok Sabha seats of Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Theni, Dindigul and Tenkasi. His expulsion could mar the chances of some of the DMK candidates in the region. He has openly called for the defeat of DMK candidates is some seats, including Tirunelveli and Theni.
Sources said several lower-level leaders in the region who were not in the Alagiri camp but are unhappy with their district leaders and functionaries are also reaching out to him.