DMK emergency executive meet today to elect new prez

Chennai: Three days after the demise of DMK president M Karunanidhi, party general secretary K Anbazhagan today announced that an emergency executive committee meeting of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) will be held on 14 August at 10 am.

In a statement here, he said the meeting will be headed by the party’s working president M K Stalin and asked all the executive members to participate in it without fail. At the meeting, a decision on electing the new president is likely to be made. Earlier in the day, Stalin reportedly called on Anbazhagan at his latter’s residence.

Soon after the demise of Karunanidhi, the question of when Stalin will take over the mantle of party chief rose in the hearts of many cadres and political observers. This emergency executive meeting might give the answer to this question.

Karunanidhi identified his successor in his lifetime and named Stalin as working president. Remember top sources in the DMK said, ‘Stalin will formally take over the reins of the party now without a hurdle and this might happen during this meeting. Due steps will be taken for his ascension to the top party post soon’.

Downplaying alleged rift between M K Alagiri and Stalin, the two sons of the DMK doyen, they said,”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.”

NT Bureau