The long-standing dispute between sons of late former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has escalated following his demise.
Conflicts within politically influential families are nothing new in India. Last year ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, we witnessed a feud between Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav. This time an old sibling rivalry has resurfaced in the form of M K Alagiri and his brother M K Stalin. The long-standing dispute between sons of late former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has escalated following his demise. The family issues, which are often termed as beyond mendable, has hit the party as reported factions brewed over the years.
Who is MK Alagiri?
MK Alagiri is the son of DMK patriarch and one of tallest leaders of the Dravidian movement M Karunanidhi. He was born to Karunanidhi’s second wife Dayalu Ammal. Alagiri is also the elder brother of former Deputy Chief Minister MK Stalin. It was not a secret that Karunanidhi used to prefer Stalin more. While Stalin had always held key posts within the party and went on to become Mayor of Chennai and Deputy CM of Tamil Nadu; Alagiri in turn had shifted to Madurai.
The flashpoint came ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when Alagiri was expelled from the party for the relentless attack on senior party members and indulging in anti-party activities. Alagiri had also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and called him a good administrator.
Feud between MK Alagiri and Stalin
Following the demise of Karunanidhi on August 7, the position of DMK president became vacant. Both Alagiri and Stalin stake claims of the post. While Stalin was already the working President of the party after being anointed to the post in 2017, Alagiri claimed all true relatives of his father were on his side and were supporting him. Stalin was elected as the President of the party by the DMK general council on August 28. The development had further irked Alagiri. Subsequently, Alagiri threatened to take out a rally in Chennai.
Dressed in black, to condole Karunanidhi’s death, Alagiri led a rally of his supporters in a show of strength to the mausoleum of his late father at the Marina beach in Chennai.