Azhagiri to Contest DMK President Polls

DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s elder son MK Azhagiri has said that he will fight elections for party president’s post, said media reports.

His remarks came a day after Karunanidhi said in a magazine interview that only party will decide its next leader and there is no war for succession in the family. A week ago, Azhagiri had said he would not accept anyone as a leader in his father’s stead.

“I agree with the Chief Minister’s view that the next leader should be chosen democratically…I will also contest to be the party’s president,” Azhagiri was quoted as saying on Thursday.

However, he hastened to add that his father was healthy and so there was no need to talk about succession right now, reports said.

It may be mentioned that in Tamil Nadu, the issue of who will succeed Karunanidhi has been a big question ever since the DMK chief hinted at retirement last year.

Since then, both, Azhagiri and brother MK Stalin have tried to be very politically correct and ruled out their father’s retirement from politics, pledging to work together as ‘a double-barrel gun’ to strengthen the party and repeatedly saying there is no war between the two.

But last week, Azhagiri had said in an interview to a magazine: “When I was 10-years-old, my leader explained to me about Dravidian culture and Periyar. At that time Periyar appeared to be the leader for me. Later Anna’s speech and writings attracted me and I accepted him as my leader. After Anna, then, now and forever Thalaivar Kalaignar alone is my leader.”

And added: “Still after Kalaignar I will not accept anyone as my leader. I don’t think there’s anyone who has the talent and qualification to fill in his place.”

Karunanidhi responded by saying in yesterday’s interview: “A single person cannot decide DMK’s leader…Even I don’t have the right to decide. Only the party can decide the leader.”

(Based on media reports)

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