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Stalin-Alagiri war further heats up at DMK meet?

July 23, 2011 22:14 IST

Ahead of a crucial meeting of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's highest policy-making body, differences were understood to have cropped up between the supporters of party chief M Karunanidhi's two sons at the executive meet in Coimbatore on Saturday on the issue of assembly polls which saw the party's rout.

Heat was generated at the closed-door meeting when both sides were learnt to have objected to certain remarks by each other on the party's functioning during and after the recent assembly elections which relegated DMK to the third spot.

DMK Treasurer M K Stalin's supporters pitched for greater role for their leader which was resented by the followers of Union Minister M K Alagiri who is strongly in favour of their 87-year old father continuing to lead the party.

Party insiders, who attended the meeting, said senior leader and General Secretary K Anbalagan intervened and pacified both the groups.

"Tomorrow" was the one-word reply by Alagiri when asked by reporters about today's deliberations.

Emerging from the meeting, Karunanidhi and Stalin avoided mediapersons while DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu said the meeting discussed the poll performance and the spate of land grabbing cases being slapped against partymen after arch-rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam came to power.

At the meet, Karunanidhi put up a brave face telling his partymen that 'all of us are equally to blame' (for the poll debacle) and asserting that DMK was a fortress that had withstood even the emergency.

"This setback is not worse than Emergency," Karunanidhi, whose government was dismissed and his son Stalin put in prison during that period, said.

The DMK patriarch sounded confident that the party would win the next elections.

The general council is likely to take a call on key
issues, including continuance of DMK's alliance with Congress in the wake of 2G scam that has resulted in imprisonment of Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi and A Raja and costing Raja and Dayanidhi Maran their union cabinet berths.

Baalu said the general council would discuss 'everything', including ties with Congress. Replying to a specific question whether the meeting would discuss DMK's relationship with Congress, he said "it will also be discussed."

Earlier, putting at rest speculation about his participation in DMK's General Council meeting, Alagiri arrived in Coimbatore where the main thoroughfares were dotted with banners carrying photographs of Karunanidhi and Stalin.

Speculation about Alagiri's presence was fuelled by reports that a section in the party wanted elevation of Stalin to pave the way for him to take over the mantle.

Sunday's meeting, the first after DMK's electoral debacle in April, is expected to give a new direction to the party amidst criticism over the first family's domination and strained ties with Congress in the wake of continued incarceration of Kanimozhi in Tihar Jail.

C S Satish Anand in Coimbatore
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