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Tamil Nadu: Alagiri vs Stalin war divides DMK

Jan 06, 2014 11:15 AM IST Politics Politics

Chennai: It is back to MK Stalin vs MK Alagiri in Tamil Nadu politics. DMK patriarch MK Karunanidhi's two sons Stalin and Alagiri have been against each other for a long time, as the party faces an uphill task in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Karunanidhi's decision to anoint Stalin as his successor has worsened the sibling rivalry.

While Alagiri has been DMK's southern commander lording over Madurai region, Stalin has been the leader of DMK in north Tamil Nadu and the state capital Chennai. Even though Alagiri is a powerful leader in Southern Tamil Nadu with an iron grip over Madurai region, his abrasive ways have made him unpopular.

In an interview to Tamil channel Puthiya Thalaimurai on Sunday, Alagiri categorically denied accepting anyone other than his father Karunanidhi as the DMK leader. This is being seen in the light of the growing rift between Alagiri and Stalin.

Recently the Madurai unit of DMK was disbanded by Stalin because of differences with Alagiri supporters. Alagiri, in the interview, has claimed that he was sidelined in the party but maintained that he would be quiet.

In 2009, a reluctant Alagiri was dispatched to New Delhi as a Union Minister by his father. Alagiri, who is fluent only in Tamil felt like a foreigner in Delhi, and started spending more time back home.

Stalin who controls the DMK central units is wary of his elder brother and his political ambitions. He thinks that he is the only leader who can keep the DMK intact and relevant. He has also been a favourite of his father.

In 2007, a survey projecting Stalin as the most popular leader conducted by a Tamil daily 'Dinakaran' had led to a huge furore in Madurai. The newspaper office was set on fire and there were some deaths too.

A shocked Karunanidhi had mediated a truce between two sons. The reason for the fresh trouble is ticket distribution in the next Lok Sabha polls. Alagiri feels that he should be the final word as far southern TN is concerned. He is also angry over dissolution of Madurai unit.

Over the years Stalin has been very assertive and Alagiri feels slighted. The sibling rivalry has also divided the DMK vertically. If Karunanidhi fails to mediate a truce between the two warring sons, the DMK will have to face huge challenge in the Lok Sabha polls.