M K Alagiri, late M Karunanidhi’s son and elder brother of DMK chief M K Stalin, on Thursday said that he is ready to accept Stalin as his leader if he is reinstated in the party.
The remark appeared to be a signal to bury the hatchet — coming days after Alagiri’s remarks that all true followers of his late father were supporting him, and announcement of a rally of his supporters in Chennai on September 5 to prove his strength.
Speaking to the media in Madurai on Thursday, Alagiri said, “I have already said that all DMK followers are with me. On September 5, you will witness the huge participation of cadres in my rally, there will be not less than 5 lakh people.” He added that he was intervening in party affairs to save it.
When asked if he would accept Stalin’s leadership if he is taken back in the party, he said he was always ready to join the party. “But they are not ready to take me back,” he said.
Alagiri, a former Union minister, said he hadn’t demanded any position for his son from Stalin. When asked if he would accept Stalin as a leader if he is reinstated, Alagiri said: “If he takes me back, I will definitely accept him as my leader.”
In March 2014, Alagiri was expelled as the DMK’s south zone organisational secretary after his repeated “anti-party activities”, including attacks on the leadership. Karunanidhi was forced to take action as his attacks on the party had escalated ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“Despite having been already suspended from the party, M K Alagiri is dismissed from the DMK as he continued to violate party discipline,” said an official statement. With the long-standing feud and public statements against Stalin playing a major role in his expulsion, Alagiri also accused Karunanidhi of being partial to Stalin.
Leaders close to Stalin said the party was unlikely to take back Alagiri. “Stalin is unlikely to reinstate Alagiri in the party as it would worsen the situation at a time the party is preparing for two bypolls and Lok Sabha elections. If he is reinstated, the top leadership fears that Alagiri will also demand a key post for his son,” said a leader.
Another leader said that Alagiri made the statement as he had realised that he could not mobilise even 5,000 people for his rally. “If at all Stalin changes his mind, he will not reinstate Alagiri before September 5.”