Actor and son of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M K Stalin, Udhayanidhi, was on Thursday appointed the party's youth wing secretary, his first post in the Dravidian outfit.
Udhayanidhi's ascension in the party is seen as a precursor to him being given key roles in the DMK in future which is now helmed by his 66-year old father Stalin.
Incidentally, Stalin became the party working president in 2017 after holding the youth wing secretary post for 34 years. Last year, Stalin became the party chief after the demise of his father and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi.
Party functionaries hailed Udhayanidhi as 'Ilaya Thalapathi' (young commander) and welcomed his new role as a long expected and desired move which will infuse fresh energy into the party.
The DMK headquarters 'Anna Arivalayam,' wore a festive look and crackers were burst welcoming Udhayanidhi to the key responsibility in the party.
DMK deputy general secretary V P Duraisamy said the entire party was happy with Udhayanidhi's appointment.
"For any party, youth force is needed. This is a right move which has made all of us happy," he said.
Former Chennai Mayor and senior functionary, Ma Subramaniam said it was a long desired and expected move which will give a boost to the about 30 lakh strong party's youth wing.
"We have got a good leadership to steer the youth wing," he added.
DMK MLA P K Sekar Babu said Udhayanidhi dedicated himself fully for the party's growth and worked tirelessly for the party's victory in the recently held Lok Sabha elections and bypolls to 22 Assembly constituencies.
"This is a happy moment for us, we will strengthen his hand in his work for the people of Tamil Nadu and our youth," Mahesh Poyyamozhi, a Tiruchirappalli-based DMK strongman said.
Poyyamozhi, who is also a DMK legislator said Udhayanidhi did not desire any post and had all along evinced keen interest in taking forward party programmes alone.
Udhayanidhi has been given this responsibility by the party after witnessing the response to his election campaign among the people, he said.
Everyone in the party, from ordinary cadres to senior functionaries backed him and district secretaries even adopted resolutions in their respective regions to give him a formal role in the DMK's youth wing, Poyyamozhi asserted.
The 42-year old new youth wing chief, Udhayanidhi is seen as an affable and articulate young leader by party workers.
They said he had been unobtrusively working alongside ordinary cadres for well over a decade and recalled that he had actively taken part in the party's village outreach programme as well.
After his appointment, Udhayanidhi took the blessings of his father Stalin and mother Durga alias Shantha and he was greeted by a host of senior party leaders.
In 1980, when the DMK Youth Wing was founded, Stalin was nominated as a member to the six-member committee to steer the new party body.
Later, Stalin assumed responsibilities like organiser and then secretary for the youth wing.
Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is also the managing director of party organ ‘Murasoli’, actively engaged himself in the DMK's election campaign in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and Assembly bypolls.
In his poll campaigns, Udhayanidhi used simple, everyday Tamil to engage the electorate over key poll issues, posed questions and answered them often with a disarming smile which enthused cadres.
DMK's allies including MDMK's Vaiko welcomed the move and expressed confidence that Udhayanidhi will successfully discharge his duties as a youth leader and emerge victorious.
DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan, in a release here, said Udhayanidhi will replace incumbent M P Saminathan as party's youth wing secretary.
Saminathan has been elevated to a high-level committee assigned to oversee party's work plans.
Udhayanidhi began his career in the film industry as a producer under the banner of Red Giant Movies and later essayed the role of a hero in 2012 for the first time in the Tamil flick ‘Oru Kal Oru Kannadi’.
His elevation comes against the background of party district units' backing him for a key role in the DMK's youth wing following the elections.