Dravidian parties look to new leadership as old guard fades away

The two major political parties in Tamil Nadu are undergoing a big change, with supporters waiting to pass the baton to new leaders

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The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is all set to hold its general council meet on January 4, 2017. The meet that was earlier scheduled to take place in December was postponed owing to its leader M Karunanidhi's health. The highlight of the meet is expected to be M K Stalin's elevation as the party's working president. With this, a new era of leadership will begin for Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu.

The AIADMK in its general council and executive meet is expected to make way for Sasikala Natarajan to take over the leadership of the party. The executive is likely to rewrite rules that allow a person who has been a party member for five years in succession only to run for the post of general secretary.

Stalin-Sasikala

Whether Sasikala will take up the role of AIADMK's general secretary is still a mystery but the party will do and has been doing everything it can to urge her to become the party chief.

[Also Read: How Sasikala became the kingmaker in Tamil Nadu]

On the other hand is the DMK that needs a new leader to lead the party owing to Karunanidhi's ill health. With health complications limiting the current party chief DMK is likely to appoint Karunanidhi's son and political heir apparent Stalin as its working president. Karunanidhi will continue to lead the party on paper, but Stalin will cement his position as the second-in-command with this appointment.

Two Dravidian bigwigs are undergoing leadership change at the same time in Tamil Nadu. While the DMK had its second generation leaders in place, AIADMK is scrambling to gather consensus on who should be the next leader. While AIADMK continues to put up a united front, fissures have been witnessed within the party by political observers.


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