DMK General Council meeting: After being elected president unopposed, Stalin pays respect to party founder C N Annadurai and former chief M Karunanidhi (Source: ANI)
M K Stalin was elected president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday at the party’s General Council meeting. The 65-year-old, has been poised to take over the reins of the party from his father, the late M Karunanidhi, had filed his nomination papers on Sunday. Stalin, who has been at the helm of DMK’s affairs since the run-up to the Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections in 2016, was appointed ‘working president’ of the party in 2017. He is the third leader of the party, after founder C N Annadurai and Karunanidhi.
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Karunanidhi’s death on August 7 had led to a succession war within the party, with expelled party leader M K Alagiri — Karunanidhi’s son — claiming DMK’s “true loyalists” were on his side. Despite being expelled from the party in 2014 for ‘anti-party activities’, Alagiri has claimed he is heir to the party and has questioned Stalin’s leadership. On the eve of the General Council meet, Alagiri had warned of consequences if he was not readmitted to the party.
M K Stalin has had a long history with the DMK. He campaigned for the party when he was just 14 years old ahead of the 1967 elections. In 1984, he became the party's youth-wing secretary. During the period of Emergency, Stalin was imprisoned under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act in 1976. He was first elected to the TN Legislative Assembly in 1989 after successfully contesting from the Thousand Lights constituency in Chennai. He was subsequently re-elected from here thrice. He became deputy general secretary of the party in 2003 and served as its treasurer for two terms from 2005-15. In 2006, he was also appointed the Municipal Administration Minister in the DMK government. In 2009, Stalin was elected deputy chief minister in Karunanidhi's government. He led the party's campaign for the 2016 Assembly elections, after which he was appointed DMK's working president in January 2017.