Chennai: From 17 September 1949, when C N Annadurai founded the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam at Robinson Park at Royapuram, the party has seen many important dates, sailed through ups and downs and witnessed successes and storms.
But three dates in near future will decide the future of the DMK, it is felt in political circles, and they are – 28 August, 30 August and 5 September.
M K Stalin, the working president of the DMK, is all set to be elevated as the president of the party in a general council meeting that will take place on this date. According to DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan, the meet is being convened to elect new president following the death of former Chief Minister and party supremo M Karunanidhi. He said the GC would meet at the party headquarters Anna Arivalayam here and also elect a new treasurer. Presently, Stalin, the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamilnadu Assembly, holds the posts of both working president and treasurer.
It may be recalled that at the party’s executive committee meet recently, senior leaders had urged Stalin to take over as party chief and resolutions were also being passed by district units across Tamilnadu.
The first big event to be attended by Stalin as DMK president is going to be the party’s public memorial meeting for Karunanidhi in Chennai on this date. In a surprise move, the DMK has invited BJP president Amit Shah for the event. Playing down speculations that the DMK is getting close to the BJP, party sources said they have invited leaders from all leading parties from across the country. While the Congress, the principal ally of the DMK, will be represented by Ghulam Nabi Azad since AICC president Rahul Gandhi will be out of the country, chief ministers of various States, including Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, are also slated to attend the high-profile event, happening just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
There may be no rebellion in the party for Stalin’s elevation to the DMK’s top post. But there is strong protest from within his own family, with his elder brother M K Alagiri raising the banner of revolt. And on 5 September, Alagiri will take out a rally towards Karunanidhi’s memorial, in which around ‘one lakh supporters’ of his will participate. Following the launch of ‘Dharma Yudhdham’ at his father’s ‘samadhi’ recently, the Madurai strongman has been holding back-to-back consultative meetings with his supporters to decide strategies and action plan to take on Stalin.
Will these three dates uphold or damage the three principles of the DMK – Kadamai, Kanniyam, Kattupaadu?