Maintaining that he has been "unfairly vilified" and suspended, Dravida Munetra Kazhagam leader M K Alagiri on Monday alleged "some forces" in the party were not allowing its chief and his father M Karunanidhi to discharge his functions.
"Some forces in the party are not allowing Kalaingar (Karunanidhi) to function as party president. They are harassing the president of the party," he told a large gathering of supporters, in remarks seen as aimed against his younger brother and DMK Treasurer M K Stalin.
The DMK south zone organising secretary, who convened the meeting of his supporters to decide on his future course of action amid speculations that he might float his own outfit, narrated the sequence of events leading to his suspension.
Alagiri, considered an influential leader of the party in the southern districts, said he had had been "unfairly vilified and suspended" for seeking to prevent "irregularities and malpractices" in the party elections. The Madurai member of Parliament, who has been denied ticket for the April
24 Lok Sabha polls, said as the Organising Secretary of the party he had pointed out "irregularities" in the conduct of party elections in Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar and several other districts. He claimed nominations of many of his supporters were not even accepted for scrutiny. Before going on a foreign trip, he took up the issue with "proof" with Karunanidhi and asked him to take steps to stem the rot.
But the grievances of his supporters were not considered, and his supporters were suspended.
“When he questioned party president about this, he threatened to dismiss my supporters. I told him dismissing my supporters is like dismissing me. He listened to me. Then you all know what happened later. I was also suspended," hw said.
The consultative meeting of supporters was held at the Daya Mahal marriage hall, owned by Algiri near his house, which was seen overflowing even before he arrived there. The mobilisation of the large number of lower-level cadres is seen as yet another show of strength by Alagiri in the last three months. A huge crowd had gathered for his birth day celebrations in January.
His supporters had been making vociferous call to teach the DMK a lesson for suspending their leader and his hardcore supporters ahead of the Lok sabha elections. Alagiri supporters had put up posters stating that "Kalaingar DMK is ready to be born", a majority of his followers consider it a gimmick and he would not take such a drastic step.
Speculations about Alagiri parting ways with the party grew after his high-profile meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh and film star Rajinikanth in the past week.
However, a close aide of Alagiri said he would not do the "foolish" thing of forming a separate party, but would find ways to make the DMK highcommand realise his importance, as he had done in the past too.
"This meeting is the foundation to find ways to grab the party from the tight grip of the 'anti-cadre' high command of the party," said Asokan, an ardent supporter of Alagiri.