Former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri said on Sunday that his younger brother and DMK president M.K. Stalin can never become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu without his backing.
Though he remained non-committal on his plans to float a party, Mr. Alagiri told his supporters that they should unanimously accept whatever decision he took on the issue. “I never wanted to become the Chief Minister. But you (Mr. Stalin) can never become one. My supporters will never let you become Chief Minister,” Mr. Alagiri said, amidst cheers.
He claimed that his father and former Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi had not wanted to contest the 2016 Assembly election from Tiruvarur citing poor health. “But, he was forced to contest as Chief Ministerial candidate so that (subsequently) he (Mr. Stalin) could become the Chief Minister … and his [Karunanidhi’s] health went downhill after that,” Mr. Alagiri charged. Having served as the party’s south zone organising secretary for the DMK, he was later removed for ‘anti-party activity’. “They conspired against me and threw me out,” he complained.
Claiming that Karunanidhi had promised to take him back into the party, he said, “Unfortunately, he fell sick. They levelled several charges against me and forced him (Karunanidhi) to issue statements against me.”
Taking credit for many victories of the party in the bypolls and local body elections in the southern districts, Mr. Alagiri said he had always remained an ordinary party member and never aspired for any post or power. “Even when Mr. Vaiko broke away from the DMK with many party district secretaries to float the MDMK, I managed to keep the cadre base intact in the southern districts,” he said.
Mr. Alagiri also took credit for the elevation of Mr. Stalin to the post of party treasurer and his becoming Deputy Chief Minister in Karunanidhi’s Cabinet. “When his (Mr. Stalin’s) supporters wanted me to take up the issue of making Mr. Stalin the party treasurer, I immediately called up the party chief…and he was made treasurer the same day,” Mr. Alagiri claimed.
He also said that in a private conversation during the Tirumangalam bypoll campaign, he had assured his younger brother that he would be the next party chief after Karunanidhi.
“It told him that he would be the next party president and Chief Minister… I would always work for him. He cannot refute this,” Mr. Alagiri said.
Subsequently, when he became Union Minister, without a second thought, he accepted to Karunanidhi’s proposal to make Mr. Stalin the Deputy Chief Minister. “What wrong did I commit (for being expelled from the party)?” he asked.
Mr. Alagiri also accused the DMK of having forgotten Karunanidhi, whose hard work, he said, had set an example to him. It was the hard work that resulted in the bypoll victory in Tirumangalam, and not the alleged distribution of money, he said.
Stating that he had waited patiently for seven years, he said he would take a decision on launching a party.
“Whatever be the decision, you should accept it. I am ready to work for you and you should be willing to take up any challenge,” he said.