The sibling war within the DMK that was on the ebb is returning to haunt the party leadership and the Karunanidhi family. The party high command has served notices on 17 middle- rung leaders in Madurai for failing to attend two functions headed by party treasurer M K Stalin last week,a move that is sure to irk Stalins elder brother Union Minister M K Alagiri.
The constantly wrangling brothers were on a break from the infighting,at least publicly,following the drubbing that the party received in the Assembly polls in May last year.
The cadres were pleasantly surprised when the duo attended a bypoll campaign meeting together at Sankarankoil last month. However,this bonhomie did not last long.
The latest round of shadow fighting is over two functions held at Alagiris stronghold,Madurai,last weekend. At a time when his elder brother,who is also the organising secretary of the party for the southern districts,was out of station,Stalin held interviews to choose party youth wing leaders for the district on Saturday and Sunday.
Third in DMK hierarchy,Stalin was also the main speaker at the public meeting held on Sunday to protest the hike in power tariff his first major function in Madurai in a decade.
This incursion into his turf did not go down well with Alagiri,who returned to Chennai on Saturday and apparently instructed his followers to stay away from the events. There,however,was one conspicuous presence: urban district secretary G Thalapathi,once considered to be an insider of Alagiris camp. Barring this,Alagiris writ had its effect as the youth wing interview was sparsely attended.
Angered by the boycott,Stalin directed Thalapathi to take them to task,and pressed the party leadership read Karunanidhi to take action against them. On Wednesday,show-cause notices were issued to 17 leaders asking them to reply within seven days.