Stalin sure to become DMK’s next president

Chennai: Less than 48 hours after DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s demise, the question in the hearts of every cadre and political observer across the State is- When will working president M K Stalin take the mantle of party chief?

Many say Karunanidhi identified his successor in his lifetime and named Stalin as working president. Remember Karunanidhi led the the organisation for half-a-century as its chief.

Speaking to News Today, top sources in the DMK said, “Stalin will formally take over the reins of the party now without a hurdle. Due steps will be taken for his ascension to the top party post soon”.

They said the general and executive councils will be convened soon to formally elect Stalin as party president.

Downplaying alleged rift between M K Alagiri and Stalin, the two sons of the DMK doyen, they say, “Stalin has been leading us well. From nowhere in the Assembly, he worked hard to ensure we end up getting 97 MLAs in the last elections”.

“Stalin is easily accessible. He knows what the cadres want. He embarked on an aggressive campaign for the 2016 Assembly election with his voter outreach programme Namakku Naame Vidiyal Meetpu Payanam (We for ourselves, journey to retrieve the dawn). It did manage to strike a chord with the masses”.

“The way he handled the demise of Karunanidhi especially the legal battle to get Marina for cremation has won him the hearts of his partymen”.

Hariharan, a political observor, said, “It was clear that Stalin is the automatic choice to lead the party after yesterday’s developments. He was right there taking control of the situation post MK’s demise. Senior leaders within party rallied around him.”

“Stalin was a clear favourite of Karunanidhi as he diligently worked his way up the DMK hierarchy, holding party posts since his youth. He was the party’s treasurer and youth wing secretary for three decades”.

Denying any chance of succession battle in the party, he said, “I believe all issues have been settled”.

With growing apathy against the ruling government in the State, local body polls and general elections fast approaching, there is very little time left for them without Karunanidhi. They know the situation well. A strong leader is the need of the hour. Hence there would not be any delay in announcing Stalin as Karunanidhi’s successor, he adds.

“I sincerely hope Stalin would do inclusive politics. He may adopt a statesman-like approach of his father and give Alagiri and step sister Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP, a greater say in party affairs”, added Hariharan.

When social media was agog with trolls after a few DMK men vandalised a biriyani shop in Virugambakkam and attacked the staff there on 29 July, Stalin left from Kauvery Hospital where Karunanidhi was admitted to, went all the way to shop. He enquired the injured and took strict action against his partymen. This won him the hearts of general public too.

Floral tributes
DMK Working President M K Stalin today visited former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s memorial at Anna Square and paid floral tributes. He was accompanied by senior leaders of the pary.

Meanwhile, Tamils living in Varanasi performed special arathis at the Ganges last evening. They prayed for Karunanidhi’s soul to rest in peace.