Cadre like me to be DMK leader rather than CM, says Karuna

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Chennai, Jan 24 (PTI) Fuelling fresh speculation about hisretirement from public office, DMK President M Karunanidhitoday said his cadre would like him to lead the party ratherthan hold the post of Chief Minister.

"I think the cadre would like me to be their leader thanChief Minister," he said in significant remarks.

Karunanidhi has often dropped hints on quitting activepolitics to concentrate on Tamil literary works and hisremarks today have again generated speculation against thebackdrop of Assembly elections due in May.

Despite 86-year-old Karunanidhi''s hints on demittingoffice after the Assembly polls, he has been under pressurefrom the cadre to continue to remain in office.

The appointment of Karunanidhi''s younger son M K Stalin asDeputy Chief Minister in 2009 was then interpreted inpolitical circles as part of DMK patriarch''s succession plans.

But Karunanidhi has maintained silence in recent months onhis retirement plans amidst speculation that his elder son andUnion Minister M K Alagiri was seeking a larger role forhimself in state politics.

Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister for the first timein 1969 and led the party to victory in 1971, 1989, 1996 andin 2006 elections.

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