The AIADMK has fired a salvo at dynastic politics within the DMK after a photograph of a state minister’s office revealed a potrait of MLA and youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin adorning the wall alongside that of his father and chief minister MK Stalin, grandfather M Karunanidhi, and other DMK stalwarts.
Pointing it out, former fisheries minister D Jayakumar on Saturday tweeted a picture of Law Minister S Raghupathy’s office where the photo of the family scion could be seen hanging next to that of his father.
“Is he a defacto CM? Till now, we have never seen an MLA’s portrait in the Secretariat. We always have portraits of a former chief ministers or a current CM. We cant accept this. We live in a democratic country. It is not a King’s rule. They can keep their portraits in their residence," Jayakumar told News18.com.
தலைமை செயலகத்தில்அமைச்சர் அலுவலகத்தில் உதயநிதி படம்…தலைமை செயலகமா ?அறிவாலயமா ? pic.twitter.com/9JY52DqUDz
— DJayakumar (@offiofDJ) July 17, 2021
Amid murmurs of Udhayanidhi Stalin extending his reach in the government far beyond his position as a lawmaker, the controversy surrounding the picture on the wall has stoked passions again.
The social media was abuzz with allegations and counter-allegations between the two Dravidian parties.
For the DMK, the role of Udhayanidhi Stalin has been cropping up repeatedly, even as Chief Minister Stalin accelerates initiatives of good governance and pandemic mitigation efforts.
Recently, Udhay Stalin was pictured standing among DMK leaders in Trichy as Stalin ceremoniously opened the sluice gates of a dam that let out waters for irrigating the Kuruvai crop. “What was the Chepauk (a Chennai constituency) doing there?" was the question asked by some observers.
Stalin has till now not answered questions of the growing role of his son Udhay Stalin within the government and party affairs.
The DMK has so far been a party that has shown adherence to hierarchies within the party — MK Stalin himself had to be in waiting for long years before he was elevated to the post of treasurer and then as working president, which was only after his father had been permanently ill-disposed to manage party affairs.
Speculations of Udhay Stalin assuming significance within the party may not be without evidence anymore — given his visibility in pictures and in flesh at important events — but how much legitimacy his his influence will gather depends on how the young scion conducts himself in the eyes of the electorate.